Throughout history, people have been protecting themselves from various injuries with different types of possible materials and technologies. In the early days, people used animal skins to protect themselves. As weaponry got advanced, many things got added including wooden and metal shields for their defensive arsenals.
The Making of Bulletproof Vests and The Materials Used
Have you ever wondered how law enforcement officials or security personnel at the line of defense Protects themselves from bullets? They do, however, possess a covert Protection known as a bulletproof vest! They are protected by these innovative suits of armor during hazardous operations or while performing official duties. But what material precisely makes up a bulletproof vest?
In this blog post, we’ll look into the materials utilized in bulletproof vests and the procedure used to make this life-saving equipment. We will also discuss the properties of these materials, and the technologies employed to enhance their effectiveness.
History of Body Armor.
In the 1800s, softer body armor was developed by the Japanese, they used to make the soft armor from silk although the results were quite effective but the cost for same was very high so flak jacket was invented during World War II. It was made with ballistic nylon and used to provide protection from ammunition fragments. Although the Flak jackets were bulky and ineffective against most rifle and pistol fire, but they were widely used, as they provided protection and allowed soldiers to feel secure.
Research and Development
After continuous research and development, In 1960, a new fiber came into the picture which made the Bullet Resistant Vest really Possible and very soon as it was extremely strong and with it, additional waterproofing feature and the layer of fabrics were added which made the vest more durable and wearable. Succeeding the research of fiber, various versions of such Vest got tested by The National Institute of Justice for several years and found that these vests could stop the most common lead bullets: 38 Specials and 22 Long Rifle Bullets.
Modern Body Armor
Body Armour is usually made of Kevlar, Steel, Polyethylene (PE) or Ceramic. Kevlar and PE are used mainly to manufacture soft body armor, whereas steel and ceramic are used to manufacture hard body armor.
The biggest benefit of Kevlar is that it’s way lighter and is much harder and stronger than steel.
Nowadays the Ballistic vests are made up of multi-layers of highly strong fibers which hold and finally deform a bullet, like in the shape of a mushroom. Because of this act, a large fraction of kinetic energy of the bullet or projectile is spread over the large area of the vest fibers. Some layers may be penetrated but as the bullet deforms, the energy is absorbed by a larger and larger fiber area. Although, a vest stops bullet penetration, but still during this course of action the vest and wearer absorbs the bullet’s impulse to cause blunt force trauma which is numerically expressed in terms of back face signature.
Modern Body Armor Designs
Layers of Protection in Bulletproof Vests with Materials Used
Multiple layers make up a bulletproof vest, each of which increases its overall ballistic resistance. The main objective is to reduce the kinetic energy of a bullet and spread it out, which will stop it from penetrating the body. Let’s talk about the many layers that are frequently present in bulletproof jackets:
1) Outer Shell:
The outermost layer of the vest acts as a covering to protect the inside layers from elements including water, heat, and UV rays. It is often constructed from abrasion-resistant fabrics like nylon or polyester.
2) Trauma Reduction Layer:
Located immediately below the outer shell, the trauma reduction layer aids in spreading the force of an impact over a broader region, decreasing the likelihood of blunt injuries. Typically, foam or another energy-absorbing material makes up this layer.
3) Ballistic Material:
The major bullet resistance is provided by the ballistic material, which is the main element responsible for stopping projectiles. The ballistic materials that are utilized in bulletproof vests most frequently are:
One of the most often utilized materials in bulletproof vests is Kevlar. This synthetic fiber has a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio and excellent tensile strength. Kevlar is an excellent material for body armor since it is lightweight, flexible, and abrasion resistant. The fiber’s structure enables it to efficiently absorb and spread the impact energy of a bullet.
Spectra Shield –
Another material that is frequently utilized in bulletproof vests is Spectra Shield. It is constructed using ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber. Excellent ballistic resistance is provided by Spectra Shield, which is also lighter than Kevlar. Additionally resilient to chemicals, water, and UV rays, the material is robust and appropriate for a variety of situations.
High-performance polyethylene fiber called Dyneema is renowned for its extraordinary toughness and endurance. Projectiles can be stopped with great success using Dyneema fibers since they are lightweight but stronger than steel. Due to its resistance to chemicals, UV rays, and moisture, Dyneema is a preferred material for bulletproof vests.
4) Backing Material:
The backing material is the bulletproof jacket’s deepest layer. It gives the vest more overall durability, supports its structural integrity, and prevents the ballistic material from deforming under impact. Aramid fibers, UHMWPE, or a combination of the two are often used as backing materials.
IMPORTANCE OF BODY ARMOR
Obviously life is priceless and that’s why you won’t take a chance to risk it. We understand that it could be riskier to buy such vital bulletproof vests from other different sources. You don’t have to worry about it if you own a bullet proof vest by Hardshell. Hard Shell is a well-established defense company who have vast expertise of more than a decade in designing and manufacturing body armors. Hardshell produces high-grade quality products to safeguard the life of the wearer and thus you can completely rely on us. Ordering procedures are quite simple and straight forward.
Additional Enhancements in Bulletproof Vests
The makers of bulletproof vests employ new technologies and improvements to increase their capacity to stop bullets. Here are a few of these:
1) Hard Plates:
Hard plates can be added to bulletproof jackets in instances where extra protection is required. These plates can be constructed of ceramic materials or extremely hard steel. These plates, which are usually fitted into the vest’s pockets, provide improved resistance to high-velocity rifle bullets.
2) Soft Armor panels:
These can be incorporated into the design of the jacket and are often constructed of aramid fibers or UHMWPE. Without limiting mobility, these panels extend coverage to crucial regions including the sides, shoulders, and collar.
3) Multi-Hit Capability:
A modern bulletproof vest is made to endure a number of blows without losing any of its defensive qualities. The effectiveness of these vests is maintained even after stopping numerous shots because of their multilayer design and specialized ballistic materials.
4) Stab and Spike Protection:
Some bulletproof jackets include layers or inserts that are specifically made to resist punctures from sharp items like knives or ice picks in addition to ballistic protection. Materials such as laminated Kevlar or metal alloys are frequently used to create these additional layers.
Manufacturing Process of Bulletproof Vests
Now that you know about the layers of protection in a bulletproof vest and the materials used, let us discuss the manufacturing process of bulletproof vests.
1) Design and Pattern Making:
Designing and pattern making are the first steps in the production of bulletproof vests. Together, designers and engineers develop a vest pattern that offers the best possible defense while maintaining the wearer’s comfort and mobility. Choosing the quantity and location of protection panels at this phase requires taking into account the particular ballistic threats the vest is made to endure.
2) Material Selection and Cutting:
After the pattern is decided upon, the right materials are chosen in accordance with the desired level of protection. According to the pattern, Kevlar, Spectra Shield, or Dyneema layers are cut into the necessary shapes and sizes. To maintain accuracy and consistency in the cutting process, manufacturers frequently employ computer-controlled cutting machines.
3) Layering and Assembly:
The protective panels are created by layering and assembling the ballistic fabric that has been cut into layers. These panels are made up of several layers of the selected material, each of which is orientated differently. This configuration improves the vest’s capacity to efficiently dissipate impact energy. Frequently, adhesive bonding methods or a mix of heat and pressure are used to join the layers together.
High-strength threads are used to sew the panels together after they have been put together. Heavy-duty sewing machines able to handle the thickness and density of the ballistic materials are used during the sewing process. To guarantee the integrity and durability of the finished product, careful consideration is paid to sewing techniques and thread tension.
5) Finishing touches:
After the vest’s primary assembly is finished, extra parts like straps, fasteners, and closures are added. For the wearer, these components offer adaptability and a snug fit. To enhance comfort, ventilation, and ease of movement, manufacturers also use ergonomic features and design components.
6) Testing and Quality Control:
A crucial step in the manufacturing process is quality control. Each bulletproof vest is put through extensive testing to make sure it satisfies the necessary safety requirements and ballistic resistance levels. In these testing, the vest is frequently subjected to simulated ballistic strikes with firearms while the amount of damage is measured.
Bulletproof vests serve as a symbol of our dedication to the safety and well-being of people who protect and serve our communities. These equipment are also a testimony to the creativity and dedication used to provide life-saving protection to those in high-risk professions.