Carapace Armour is a type of combat armour used by many Imperial military and para-military organisations, including the elite troops of the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Arbites. Carapace Armour consists of large rigid plates of armaplas or ceramite molded to fit parts of the body. It can range from complete armoured suits like those worn by the Arbiters of the Adeptus Arbites to individual pieces such as chest plates, helmets, greaves, etc. Carapace Armour is stronger and thicker than the Flak Armour used by the common soldiers of the Imperial Guard and various Planetary Defence Forces and it provides the wearer a much higher chance of surviving a direct impact with standard small-arms rounds (though it does little to protect against stronger weapons). Carapace Armour is used by a wide variety of the Imperial armed forces, including the elite troops of the Imperial Guard like Storm Troopers and the armsmen who defend the starships of the Imperial Navy. The carapace breastplate worn by many Imperial Guard officers is as much a symbol of their rank as a form of protection. Regular Guardsmen will usually be equipped with the cheaper and simpler to manufacture Flak Armour, although there are several Imperial Guard units, like those of the Cadian Shock Troops' Kasrkin, where Carapace Armour is used as the standard form of infantry protection. The most notable disadvantage of Carapace Armour is that it can be tiring to wear during extended combat.
Orks have their own equivalent of Carapace Armor they call Karapace Armour. Some Greenskin warriors, known as 'Ardboyz, choose to litteraly have plates of metal or recovered ceramite bolted (semi-)permanently to their bodies by the Painboyz. Combined with an Ork's natural tolerance for pain and wounds, this "Karapace" is as crude as it is efficient, allowing the Ork warrior to walk through most forms of small arms fire unscathed. Although some Orks frown upon its use, a fair number of veteran Boyz choose to equip themselves with this crude Karapace Armour, knowing that it will give them a better chance to reach the enemy and chop him to bits.
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition)
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition)