Hard armor, also known as ‘hard body armor’, is body armor used for protecting the wearer in combat. This includes plates for protection of the torso and shoulder, wrists, elbows, knees and feet. Some models can protect against bullet fire to the upper body. They are normally classified into three types: soft armor, hard armor and composite armor.
Soft armor, also known as polyethylene, is usually made from fiberglass reinforced with other materials. The other materials include high-carbon polymers, epoxy resin, polypropylene and other synthetic resins. Hard armor, which consists of high-carbon steel, is composed of cast aluminum or other metal. The hard plates are used to provide significant protection against bullets. The ballistic plates provide better protection for the lower limbs than that provided by soft armor. The hard plates can resist high pressures as compared to soft armor.
The use of hard plates has become popular among police forces. Many states have made it mandatory for police officers to wear these soft armor devices while on duty. Police ballistic vests are available in various colors and sizes and are often embroidered with department and state symbols. Many companies manufacture both hard and soft armor vest, which are often used by individuals for self-defense purposes.