What do NIJ Level 4 body armor protect against?
NIJ Level 4 is the highest level of shielding, according to NIJ standards. Armor plates of this level are tested to withstand an armor-piercing rifle shot up to .30-06 M2AP, with a mass of 166 grams and a speed of 2880 ft/s for large caliber bullets.
What components for NIJ 4 Bulletproof Vests?
Body armor materials are typically steel, ceramic, or UHMWPE, but NIJ Level 4 body armor plates are made from a ceramic composite. These materials are very effective, because they are stronger than the ball itself.
Thanks to their incredible strength, ceramic plates can stop armor-piercing bullets like the black-tipped 30-06 M2AP bullets. These bullets have an extremely hard steel penetrator capable of passing through steel, which is common in NIJ Level 3 armor. The ceramic has the ability to twist and erode the bullet to the point where it can no longer do so much damage.
Unlike steel, monolithic ceramic can be made with a variety of shapes and curvatures to fit different body types.
In recent years, new technologies have been developed, using polyethylene components to produce armor plates that are ultra-light, but offer the same level of protection.
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