Steel armor has a few pros and some cons that you better deal with if you are going to rely on it. Steel plate manufacturers have been trying to address one of those cons, a high chance of spalling from impact, for years. So far, the best anyone has come up with is coating the plate with spray in truck bed liner. Unfortunately, that can not take the place of true spall guards. Most of the people in the market for steel plates, are in the market for them because they are inexpensive and probably don’t want to pay extra for spall guards. Thankfully, spall guards don’t have to cost a fortune.
D-RMOR has been making custom armor product for years. I remember talking to them about a set of plate backers several years ago. They manufacture custom spall guards that are designed to fit your specific plate. They have the most common plate patterns in stock and they can custom make just about anything.
Spall, for those unfamiliar, is small bits of a whole that are broken off during impact. In this case, that whole is the bullet itself. When a bullet strikes the steel plate it behaves almost like fluid, “splashing” into the plate, and sending bits of itself out in all directions at very high speed. These bits are often caught by the neck, chin, and face of the wearer.
D-RMOR’s solution is simple. They create a pocket from Kevlar 129 splash defeat material with a 1000D Cordura nylon shell. The plate is inserted into the pocket so that any and all potential spall is contained within the pocket. The Spall Guards also serve to pad the plate slightly increasing their comfort.
D-RMOR also makes side plate spall guards.
Check out D-RMOR’s Spall Guards.