Rothco MultiCam MOLLE Plate Carrier Vest for Law Enforcement
Armor Plate / Body Armor
All body armor or armor plates are rated by threat levels set by the NIJ. The NIJ (National Institute of Justice) is the research and standardization department for the U.S. Department of Justice. They scientifically research crime, assess community needs, and evaluate safety products, with the end goal of reducing crime and fortifying the justice system. The complete Standard is located at https://nij.ojp.gov/library/publications/ballistic-resistance-body-armor-nij-standard-010106. These levels range from levels II to levels IV, however other organizations such as the military or FBI/DEA have established other testing protocols which are NOT NIJ certified, but fill very crucial and necessary threat levels specific to their needs.
Common Plate Material
Ceramic – The ceramic plates are typically composed of boron carbide, silicone carbine, or other similar materials. The benefits to ceramic plates is that they are lighter and the law enforcement or military personnel mobility is Not as impaired as metal or steel plates. The cons to ceramic plates is inferior multi-hit resistance, however as technology changes workarounds have improved this issue by adding other components to ceramic plates.
Metals – Typically, metal armor plates are composed of steel or titanium, but also some alloys such as aluminum are also added. Unlike ceramic plates, metal plates have a better multi-hit resistance quality, however metal plates have been known to ricochet or reflect projectiles, which increases the risk to arms, legs, or face, in addition to team or bystanders.
Plastics – Plastic armor plates are composed of multilayered sheets of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWP) which have evolved to be equal to the ballistic resistance of metal plates. This allows for higher level of protection along with less weight and greater mobility.
Cleaning ballistic panels and carrier vests
When triple-digit temperatures soar in places like Texas, Arizona and Florida, these vests can take on a whole new level of stench when routine cleaning and care are neglected, in addition to potentially compromising the ballistic panels and carrier vests.
Once the ballistic panels have been removed from the carrier, lay them on a flat surface. Take a clean, damp cloth, sponge or rag and gently wipe the panels to remove stains, dirt or debris. If necessary, you may choose to use a mild, non-acidic soap or detergent.
What not to do with ballistic panels
- Do not use bleach or other harsh chemical cleaners.
- Never iron or apply heat to panels.
- Do not machine wash or tumble dry.
What to do with carrier vests
To clean your carrier vest, remove all ballistic panels, trauma inserts and plates. The preferred method of cleaning the front and back carrier is to hand wash it.
The carrier may also be machine washed on the gentle cycle using cold water with a mild detergent. When complete, lay it flat to air dry or tumble dry, using the lowest temperature setting on your dryer.
What not to do with carrier vests
According to Phalanx Defense Systems, follow these tips:
- No bleach or other harsh cleaners.
- No dry cleaning.
- Avoid deodorizing sprays, such as Febreze or Lysol, which may damage the carrier materials over time.