"Polarizing the hull plating" basically means running an electric charge through the plates, which hardens their molecular... somethingorother... makes them stronger. While charged.
I learned that on this site. It's NEVER explained on the show!
Ah so thats what it means. But still even if running a current through it makes the hull stronger once its been damaged even slightly the current will be disrupted and go 'offline' so kinda makes the whole hull plating thing redundant technology.
Reed: the hull plating is online and will protect us....oh wait the hulls been damaged by an enemy torpedo there goes the hull plating now wer just a sitting target.
kinda a logic failure for whichever writer came up with that idea as it would have made more sense to just have shields from the get go (im kinda hoping they get shields at some point and dont keep the hull plating for all four seasons)