Friday, July 6, 2012

Body Armor Throughout the Years

Origin of Body Armor

Body armor, or oftentimes called personal armor, is a type of clothing used to protect the body from unwanted damages such as blunt force traumas or lacerations. Historically, they were first used by soldiers but since then have developed throughout time. Body armors in western history can date back from the Mycenaean era where chain mails were used. Whereas in East Asia, its inhibitors has adapted the use of lamellar, eventually influencing the Japanese's still-famous samurai armor.

One of the factors that were considered of its development can be attributed to the type of market that benefits from armor production. The market has to be considered because body armors are not only used in battle, even if it was the primary reason for its invention. In the modern setting, it is not anymore limited to military purposes. Body armors can now be seen in a wide variety of sports especially the extreme and dangerous kind. Football players have been using these armors, from back and spine protectors and pads to chest and rib protectors. Extreme sports like snowboarding use performance jackets and protective snow vests, an example that these armors are also used to protect athletes from extreme weather conditions. But don't mistake that these armors are only used for outdoor sports; It has also been widely used in hockey, martial arts, and roller derbies.

Bullet Proof Vests in Modern Times

Another factor that was considered for the development of body armors is the threat that the users are trying to protect themselves from, more specifically military users and the enemies and weapons they face in combat. It has been observed that throughout history, body armours developed in parallel to the development of the weapons used in combat. As the weapons improved in gun power in the battlefield, the armors have improved to increase better protection but without the expense of mobility. That is why the material used in armor production has changed drastically from its first invention, from the use of metal plates to fibers. Nondescript armors are also advantageous to the market where they are used for personal reasons or for bodyguards.

Kevlar is now the most commonly known component used in body armors and bullet proof vest since they are bullet resistant. They were used by the United States military forces since the early 1980's. Now, they are still widely used by police officers, security personnel, SWAT and FBI teams. Kevlar is also used as a protection gear that can be used in emergencies, especially those that involve high heat. Even civilians, like motorcycle riders also use them to prevent abrasion injuries.

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