Commercial Armor is a dense ferro-plastic material that is good for dissipating kinetic impact and some thermoablation. This armor is light in weight compared to metallic and composite armors, and against civilian and light military weapons provides excellent protection. Commercial armor does have a major weakness. It's plastic base material is very vulnerable to weapons specifically designed to defeat armor. Armor piercing rounds and weapons have their critical threshold effectively doubled when facing off against commercial armored vehicles and mecha.
Who Uses Commercial Armor?
Most 'legal' megacorp security forces and paramilitary equipment owned and operated by civilians or non-military forces are clad in Commercial Armor. There are plenty of megacorp special security sections that have access to advanced armored vehicles and mecha, but these are covert operations.
Civilian Light Personal Armor is traditionally made of commercial grade materials. It will protect the wearer in a riot or other 'civilian level' conflict but not allow for the creation of highly effective civil militias. Military grade light personal armor is seldom if ever made of commercial grade materials like ferroplastics.
Civilian hardsuits and paramilitary power armor suits are made of commercial ferroplastic as the presence of armor defeating weaponry is relatively low. Most armored cops don't have to worry about a criminal gang having military grade magnetic rifles, or special HEAT, HEAP, or other special armor defeating cannon rounds.
Industrial mechs and work mechs are only clad in commercial grade armor. These machines are not intended for second or even third line military service, and composite armors are expensive to maintain. The military and heads of state prefer that non-combatant mecha and powered hardsuits be clad in ferroplastic, as the number of working machines drastically outnumbers the fighting machines. Arcologies don't just grow out of the ground.
The Origin of Commercial Armor
Commercial armor was born in the darker days of the Second Dark Age. Plastics were relatively easy to produce, especially plant based bioplastics. Metal was in short supply, and during that time period, reclaiming cities and digging up landfills was a cost effective means of gaining it. By mixing layers of plastic and adding reinforcing weaves of metal, a workable armor was created. The bulky armor became popular as it was cheap and readily made, and few if any of the bandit/raiders of the era were able to exploit the basic weaknesses of wearing armor that was one step away from being water bottles or milk jugs.
As the Cosmic Era bloomed with the Second Renaissance, the ferroplastic armor remained in use due to it's practical value. Non-military things could be protected effectively with it, and it remained both cheap and easy to produce.