What Are Trauma Pads And Their Benefits?

Soldiers, commanders, and anyone who engages in strenuous outdoor activities require body armor to safeguard their health. Trauma pads are a valuable addition to body armor. This piece of equipment is inserted beneath the armor to help absorb the impact of ballistic projectiles and aids in complete protection. Trauma pads, also known as trauma plates, are protective equipment that adds to a bulletproof vest’s safety.

It’s an insert that reduces the ballistic force of any projectile, and it’s classified as an add-on item. The moniker “trauma pads” refers to reducing the danger of ballistic and blunt force trauma. A bulletproof vest or carrier plate often has these inserts in the front, back, and side pockets and helps officials or soldiers reduce injuries by trauma.

Purpose of Trauma Pads

Even if a bullet does not penetrate the bulletproof vest or body armor, it still sends energy to the person wearing it. Trauma pads are designed to absorb the force of the rounds while also increasing the wearer’s safety. It is the body’s defense against injuries to the back and face.

On a ballistic hit, the transmission force is the product of the back face of the body armor or bulletproof vest. According to the NIJ (National Institute of Justice), the trauma pad must be able to stop the projective from reaching the individual before they can award it a passing grade.

It should also have a back-face distortion of less than 44 mm, or around 1.7 inches deep. Can you imagine yourself with a 1.7-inch bullet in your body yet still being alive? If this is the case, the trauma pad is indeed beneficial.

The primary purpose of a trauma pad is to reduce the transfer force put on the body during an accident and thus minimize the chance of harm. A trauma pad has two functions. First, it absorbs the body’s apparent distortion, and the second is that it disperses the impact of a bullet over the pad’s area, thereby minimizing the risk of injuries.

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Materials Used to Create Trauma Pads

Most trauma plates and pads are made up of a variety of materials. You can categorize the primary materials utilized in different plate packages into the following groups.

  • Ceramic

In military applications, ceramic plates or ceramic armor, often made of boron carbide, silicon carbide, or other comparable materials, are prevalent. Ceramic armor is lighter than metals and significantly more rigid, allowing it to deform tungsten core penetrators and withstand high-velocity projectiles.

Ceramic substance destroys projectiles by fracturing them into bits, reducing the projectile’s penetrating potential. Ceramic plates have worse multi-hit resistance than steel or titanium due to their brittle nature. At the same time, there are workarounds, such as IM/PACT technologies, which utilize stainless steel crack arrestors.

  • Metal

Although aluminum and different alloys are also available, most metal trauma plates are constructed from steel or titanium. While undergoing minor deformation, steel plating may be subjected to a higher impulse caused by an impact because the steel bends very little and captures relatively little energy. A projectile is shattered by a steel plate, which sends potentially deadly fragments across its path. Metal armor can also deflect bullets, preventing them from striking a limb, bystanders, or private property.

  • Plastic

Multi-layered sheets/plates made of UHMWPE can produce a ballistic boost equivalent to or higher than lighter metal plates. There is a cost in terms of minimized trauma reduction and the improbable but conceivable danger of fracture with these. When manufactured, Ultra High Molecular Weight Polythene (UHMWPE) may be dispersed into a thread and woven into a fabric that competes with modern aramid materials in strength, flexibility, and weight and is now a common material in armor vests.

  • Polymer

Several businesses have developed viscoelastic polymer compositions that can dissipate a large amount of energy/force when subjected to shock, vibration, or g-force side loading. The material’s and padding’s improved energy adsorption behavior is due to the viscoelastic compound’s unique physical features. A high molecular weight, highly viscous, highly elastic polymer fluid makes up most of the combination. The mixture is combined with rheological modifiers and other fillers to manage the physical and rheological properties of the completed padding compound.

  • Nanomaterials

Carbon nanotube and nanocomposite materials offer strength to weight ratios that are potentially superior to other materials. It is a viable substance for future trauma plates and anti-ballistic textiles. Commercially available nanomaterial plates also exist.

Benefits Of Trauma Pads

An add-on trauma pad is usually required for older bulletproof vests. However, newer versions of military-grade bulletproof vests and plate carriers, such as the SAPI and ESAPI systems, do not require a trauma plate since they are hard enough to withstand the energy of incoming rounds.

While there is little information on using a trauma pad properly, it was designed to enhance the wearer’s protection, resulting in a reduced chance of trauma. The inclusion of soft trauma pads in an armor package’s chest is frequent. The heart and lungs, for example, are usually covered in most designs. Soft pads made of high-density materials like plastic are used as inserts for hard bulletproof body armor. These inserts are always found on the armor plate’s backside.

The subject of whether or not trauma pads are necessary remains unanswered. Unfortunately, trauma plates are not available in some bulletproof vests and carriers. Soft body armors must also be as they are without add-ons to pass the NIJ criteria. Bulletproof vest users withstand real-life threats like mass shootings and war fights even without using trauma pads. Some users claim that having an extra insert reduces the danger of deadly trauma.


It’s up to you whether or not you want to add a trauma pad to your bulletproof vest or body armor. However, keep in mind that you should always invest in extra security because you never know what kind of threat you might encounter in the future. To guarantee the safety of your loved one, consider adding a trauma pad to your must-have things. It can be attached to your bulletproof vest as well as your child’s bulletproof bag.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]