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Posted: 9/23/2007 9:09:04 PM EDT
Just how fragile are these things? Are they easily broken or cracked? Anyone broken one themselves? Pictures of broken plates?

I am ordering my plates next week and am down between the BPM Ceramic Lvl IV Standalone or BPM Lvl III Steel plates with the spall guards available here on ar15.com xchange forum. Which would you go with and why. Need legitimate reasons, not just because I bought them. Going to start with just the front plate for two vests and see if I want to add a back plate later on.


Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/25/2007 5:17:49 PM EDT
They are not that fragile, but if you drag them behind a truck they will break.

If you do not plan on using them hard (dropping prone a lot), no worries.
Link Posted: 9/25/2007 5:38:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2007 5:40:21 PM EDT by SilentType]
They are MUCH more ruggid than people give them credit for.

The things you have to avoid would be exposure to heat temps over say 120 degrees for extended periods, water logging them, or extreme impacts like falling twenty feet or hitting the concrete prone with 90 lbs of gear on your 220 lbs frame.

My advice to everyone is to purchase dummy plates for training and to have your plates x-rayed every one to three years. Other than that you're good to go.

I'd go with ceramic plates, because the military has tested steel vs. ceramic and they are still going with ceramic. You'll never be able to run as many tests of your own or do that kind of research without serious dough so I have piggy backed on their decision here.



Link Posted: 9/25/2007 5:46:34 PM EDT
If you come through the gate of a FOB, throw your vest on the hood of your HUMVEE and then drive off and let your vest fall off and get run over, they will break.
Link Posted: 9/25/2007 7:33:38 PM EDT
Get the ceramic. You'll end up not wearing the steel because the steel plates are SO FREAKIN' HEAVY.

Save up and get both the front and back.

Mike
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 11:37:25 AM EDT
I'm not a ballistician, just an engineer...

The real issue is not the breaking of the plate, but the invisible microfractures that can develop on the inside from abuse. The plate will look and feel fine, but will have significantly reduced ballistic protection. This is why a poster talked about X-rays.

Metal plates can possibly have the same problems due to heat treating and other defects. However, a bad lattice structure in steel tends to be because of the manufacturing process and not because it was dropped.

Ceramic plates might be "better" because the military uses them, but they have the money to buy new ones periodically and the equipment to check if the plates are still good. Steel should have the advantage that if it was made correctly, it should be good up until the time it takes a bullet.

YMMV, but I'd love to hear from someone who has some real applicable materials experience in this area.
Link Posted: 9/26/2007 4:23:02 PM EDT
The Military doesn't x-ray ceramic plates out in Iraq so they do stand-up under high operation tempo in high temperature areas. The military must have some protocal for inspection and life span with ceramic SAPIs. They aren't just tossing them away like paper plates.

Be interesting to hear from someone who is active duty and involved with supply somehow of these plates as to what the SOP is on these plates.
Link Posted: 9/27/2007 8:20:07 AM EDT
They are less fragile than some people think but more fragile than others think.

The micro fractures can occur from falling off a wall you climbing over or wrestling hadji down a flight of steps.
Link Posted: 9/27/2007 8:55:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:
If you come through the gate of a FOB, throw your vest on the hood of your HUMVEE and then drive off and let your vest fall off and get run over, they will break.


have a problem once?
Link Posted: 9/27/2007 11:57:23 AM EDT
One of our clients makes these plates under a .gov contract. Two years ago during an inventory observation I accidentally knocked one off a rack about 3 feet off the ground. I thought it would shatter but it didn't.

However they had to dispose of it just in case. I felt like an ass.

Not that the story helps, I just thought I would share since the company still got rid of it. But understandably since they had to be shipped to the government still.

Link Posted: 9/27/2007 4:07:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dace:
One of our clients makes these plates under a .gov contract. Two years ago during an inventory observation I accidentally knocked one off a rack about 3 feet off the ground. I thought it would shatter but it didn't.

However they had to dispose of it just in case. I felt like an ass.

Not that the story helps, I just thought I would share since the company still got rid of it. But understandably since they had to be shipped to the government still.



Liability problems the lawyers would be all over them if something went wrong.

My Buddy crash tests cars and even though there are plenty of parts like tires or other things are in perfect condition after their tests they have to scrap everything. Just life in a world where people will sue McDonalds because they're fat.

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:16:50 PM EDT
They are fragile enough to protect you from rifle bullets.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 7:30:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 7:30:37 PM EDT by Hoplite]
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 11:39:39 AM EDT

They are fragile enough to protect you from rifle bullets.

Please don't post unqualified, unhelpful and potentially dangerous comments like this. At least use this icon:

Again, if the plate has microfractures from being dropped or abused, it won't work as advertised! Just because it hasn't snapped in two doesn't mean it's good.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 12:49:40 PM EDT
seen more then a few get broken corners in the Corp but they were all about six years old (these were the old style black sappi's not the new Esappi's I don't know much about those other than they weigh a ton and stop alot)
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