Bulletproof gear is mostly used by law enforcement as their line of work involves the risk of being shot or stabbed. From picking the suitable polymers to reinforcing bulletproof equipment with ballistic material, there is a lot that goes into the making of bulletproof equipment. Most bulletproof equipment, especially vests are designed to be lightweight, flexible, and strong enough to stop high-speed projectiles.
Read on as we discuss how bulletproof vests work and explore different materials that give bulletproof qualities to the vest. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the realm of bulletproof clothing and explore what makes bulletproof equipment work.
Materials Used In Bulletproof Equipment
From choosing the fabric thread to finalizing the stitching and adding ballistic sheets, you can choose from a variety of different materials. The ballistic panels used in bulletproof equipment are composed of spectra shield, aramid, or kevlar.
Manufacturers offer bulletproof equipment made of different materials that provide varying levels of protection. Kevlar layers are made from Kevlar thread woven together, forming soft sheets. Spectra Shield is a type of polymer that is molded in the form of a sheet coated with resin and sandwiched between polyethylene films. These panels are fastened into the outer fabric. The materials used to make the fabric shell include nylon, cotton, silk, or a blend of two fabrics.
Besides putting in ballistic panels, absorbent materials and layers of nylon padding are often added to provide extra protection. Pockets are also placed in bulletproof equipment that can hold metal, fiberglass, or ceramic plates.
Mechanism of Bulletproof Equipment
Bulletproof vests and other equipment are designed to withstand high-speed projectiles, prevent penetrating injuries, and reduce the impact on internal organs. In the early days, bulletproof equipment focused on avoiding penetrating injuries but failed to recognize blunt injuries caused by the impact.
Fortunately, there are several materials out there that can provide extra protection to vital organs by dispersing the projectile impact. When the bullet hits the plate, the material distributes the impact throughout the sheet, making it easier to handle the impact while protecting the organs from damage. It is good wearing a bulletproof vest during these uncertain times as it will provide you protection against gunshots, and prevent stabbing injuries. Bulletproof vests have varying levels of protection. All bulletproof equipment is built to withstand a certain amount of impact.
For example, a bulletproof vest made to prevent stabbings or small firearms would not stop a round shot by a powerful firearm. The best way to pick bulletproof equipment would be to figure out your requirements for protection. As there are different levels of protection offered by bulletproof equipment manufacturers, it’s better to review each one to know which one suits you the best.
Besides using the right material and crafting skills, it’s the quality control tests that ensure the bulletproof clothing is working up to the expectations. Starting from checking the tensile strength of the thread, a cloth is woven which is further tested to ensure quality. In the US, the National Institute of Justice has set forward requirements for different protection levels. There are a total of 6 protection levels, with each specifying the type of firearms and the impact speed the equipment can withstand.
You might think of buying equipment with the highest level of protection to get the best results. However, buying bulletproof clothing of protection level IV might only add up weight and might not be necessary, as level III is used mostly by law enforcement agencies, providing a decent amount of firearm protection.
To ensure you are making the right purchase, look for the size labels, instructions for care, and the manufacturer’s logo. The bulletproof equipment will have details of the date of issue, serial number, protection level rating, and its lot number. Equipment protecting level III also has a safety warning that the bulletproof equipment will not protect against rifle fire or sharp objects.
When bulletproof equipment is made, it is tested in the facility by shooting a few rounds at different angles and distances. The quality control test is only cleared if there is no sign of penetration that could have injured the wearer.
Whenever bulletproof equipment passes inspection, it is stored in the archive as a prototype. Its replicas are mass-produced to be sold to the customers. Bulletproof equipment has already saved a plethora of lives, especially the law enforcement that stands on the frontline. We hope this article can assist you in understanding how bulletproof equipment works and how to make the right choice.