Curvature and Coverings in Hard Body Armour

23/02/2021 by Rajib Pal


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All around the world, Hard body armours are rated to protect its user from high-caliber rifle ammunition and most commonly used by armed forces in tactical and combat situations. These armours are rigid and able to protect against non-armour piercing and piercing rifle threats. Hard body armours are composed of high-performance durable materials; such as high-strength steels, ceramics, ceramic composites, Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), p-Aramid, Carbon, etc. It exhibits higher resistance to penetration and possesses higher surface density than the soft body armour.

Curvature in Hard Armor- 

The size and shape of the body contour vary from individual to individual and thus proper size & shape of hard armour is very essential for proper fitment. An ill-fitting rigid hard armour plate can cause extreme discomfort to the user and reduces their efficiency. To meet the body shape of a soldier, Hard armour can be designed in flat, single-curve, and multi-curve shapes with different cut shapes such as; top cut, shooter cut, rectangular cut, etc for better ergonomics. Further, customized designs can provide soldiers with additional comfort in tactical situations.  
Single-curve implies unidirectional single curvature along the torso. On the contrary, the Multi-curve plates may have curvatures both in horizontal and vertical directions or multi curvatures in either horizontal or vertical or both directions, thus making it more ergonomic to the human body contour offering easy mobility and tactical advantage in combat situations.  

The curvature becomes more important when hard armours are worn closer to the body.


Figure 1: Depicting the structure of single and multi-curve Hard Armour plates.

Advantages of curvatures and shapes:

  • Curved and shaped armours increase ergonomics.
  • The right curvature and shape enhance the fit.
  • Since hard armours are rigid, curvatures and shape play an important role in offering mobility, maneuverability to soldiers during warfare.

Coverings in Hard Armour-  

Covering materials of hard body armours play an important role to maintain the performance and increase life by resisting its exposure to adverse aging conditions such as moisture/humidity, water, fluids, abrasion, UV rays, etc. Also, some covering materials minimizes the impact of heat.  

These can be manufactured using a range of covers, made of materials such as conventional polyesters, Nylon or high-performance CORDURA, polyurea, or other specialty materials. These covers contribute to the ballistic capability of the hard armour and increase the shelf and service life of the armour.   

Among various available options; polyurea and CORDURA coverings are most commonly used. The polyurea covering provides high-performance waterproofing, high corrosive and fluid resistance, high abrasion resistance, and heat and UV resistance. The particular thickness of polyurea covering also improves the anti-ballistic performance of Hard armours. The other material is CORDURA, which is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and high abrasion-resistant. It is comparatively lighter in density and weight than polyurea.

Armour Plates

Advantages of coverings in hard armour: 

  • The covering increases the surface appearance and finish of the Armour.   
  • Protect from adverse weather conditions. 
  • Provides protection from abrasion and external forces that can damage the hard armour.   
  • Extends the life of the Armour.   
  • Improves anti-ballistic performance.

Hard Body Armour is a personal protection solution designed not only to resist penetration but also to minimize blunt force trauma. We at MKU focuses on manufacturing hard armour plates that are lightweight with low thickness and ergonomic, ensuring maximum ballistic protection and comfort. We use proven quality materials combined with state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and stringent testing processes resulting in advanced armour solutions.

Click here to get a better understanding of what constitutes the making of Hard Body Armour and armour technology



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