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This is a very stupid thought that's been at the back of my head for a while. Armor in question is literally meant to protect the body from bodily harm, so making it muti layers and detachable would be stupid. I think

Thoughts from an idiot:

  1. Obviously it's detachable, but that'd probably mean it's also able to be attached back after some fixing right?

  2. How hard would it be to remove in the first place? My idea was that it'd ideally be harder to take off the the opponent than by the poor idiot wearing the monstrosity.

  3. Assuming it stays in place after the first hit, how much damage would it take before shattering? Would being detachable make it harder to stop an attack?

  4. What's holding the layers together? A sort of strap, glue, tape, Velcro? I don't know.

For my own clarification and preservation of sanity, it's supposed to be a sort of multi layered shell, with the main idea being the different shells are either able to be torn off if something like, let's say acid, is eating through it, as well as being able to fall off when taking enough damage for the shell to be rendered useless.

Would such a monstrosity actually work in any time period, whether it'd be medieval or futuristic? Also in retrospect this sounds like normal armor, but with extra steps.

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    $\begingroup$ All armor is detachable, otherwise you can't get out of it. Layered armor is pretty common. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 at 8:15
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    $\begingroup$ Armor against what? Sticks? Swords? Musket balls? High explosive 150mm shells? $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Aug 13 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Can you clarify whether you are armoring up a person or a vehicle? $\endgroup$
    – Faito Dayo
    Aug 13 at 22:08
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As Charlie Hershberger said in comments, all armor is detachable - otherwise you wouldn't be able to get out of it. You obviously don't want your enemy to disarmor you easily, so most armor tend to have multiple and somewhat redundant ways of fastening on the body. At a base level it works like clothes in that they conform to your body shape - for example, a shirt doesn't just slide off unless you raise your arms the right way, and most upper-body armor works the same. Then you also tend to have various straps and fasteners to keep everything secure. The downside of this is that the armor takes longer to take on and off, but that's usually considered an acceptable trade-off.

In a similar way, layered armor is probably more common than the opposite. It depends on what weapons your opponents have of course, but for something like simple slashing weapons like swords, a few layers of thick fabric is surprisingly effective, especially against glancing blows. When you imagine an armored medieval knight you generally think of them in metal plate armor, but beneath that they typically wore multiple other layers for padding and extra protection.

You don't specify any material or time period, but you seem to be imagining something like plate armor with multiple layers of metal. Some of that you can accomplish by making the plate thicker, making it more resistant at the expense of increased cost and weight. A simpler way of layering armor would be scale armor, where you have many smaller pieces of metal, the scales, that attach to a central garment. This is simpler to make and works well against blunt attacks, but worse against slashing than full plate mail.

Durability-wise, it's hard to give any good answers without specifying both armor material and what weapons are used - you'll note there isn't much plate armor on a modern battlefield, since it's not very effective against bullets.

For holding things together, it can depend on construction but a good way is to simply have the layers work as separate sets of clothes and just wear them on top of each other. This also has the advantage that you might choose to only put on the inner layers if you're in a hurry or only need some protection.

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