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The Real Facts About Spall Protection

Understanding spalling and how it can affect your safety when using steel armor plates is essential. Here, we discuss why steel plates create spalling, how anti-spall coatings can help, and the importance of spall testing for steel armor plates.

  • Why do Steel Plates Create Spalling

During a ballistic event, steel armor plates can cause fragmentation or spalling when they are impacted. The fragments that move beyond the steel plate can hit the operator or surrounding team members, potentially causing secondary fragmentation injuries. Steel plates rely on their hardness to stop bullets, which can cause the impacting round to mushroom, fracture, and splatter upon impact. 

  • Anti-Spall Coating

To reduce spalling, Custom Armor Group (CAG) coats steel plates (CAG AR1000 / CAG AR500) with military-grade Rhino Extreme™ 11-50 Anti-Spall Coating. This tough elastomeric material encapsulates the steel plates and significantly reduces spall fragments from ballistic impact. Operators can choose the thickness of the anti-spall liner, ranging from 20 mil to 80 mil. Additionally, the plate can be inserted into our CAG Rifle Insert Spall Sleeve for added protection.

  • Spall Testing

As part of our quality management, CAG regularly tests armor both in-house and independently. Oregon Ballistic Laboratories (OBL), an NVLAP-accredited independent laboratory, performed spall testing on our CAG AR1000 Level III+ Steel Plate with various levels of anti-spall coating. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the Rhino Extreme™ 11-50 Anti-Spall Coating at various thicknesses in reducing spalling. 

Spalling is a crucial safety concern when using steel armor plates, but it can be mitigated using anti-spall coatings like Rhino Extreme™ 11-50. Custom Armor Group provides high-quality, dependable, and safe body armor products, ensuring maximum protection for operators in the field. By understanding the importance of spall protection and conducting thorough spall testing, you can make informed decisions when choosing body armor that provides the necessary protection and safety you need.

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