Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bulletproof Vest: An Introduction

What are Bulletproof Vests?

Bulletproof vests or ballistic vests are sometimes called bullet resistant vests because it is inaccurate to refer to them as "bulletproof" due to increasing and varying types of projectile. This term implies that the vest can protect the user from every firearm threat, so the term bullet resistant is generally preferred. These vests are usually worn in the torso area. This form of body armors serves as protection because it can absorb impact from unwanted objects that come from firearms and bombs.

Types and Materials Used

There are different kinds of bulletproof vests. To determine which kind of vest to use could depend on the kind of damage the person is expecting to encounter. Soft vests, which are commonly being used by security guards, bodyguards, civilians and the police, are fabricated using several layers of woven or laminated fibers. This kind of vest has the ability to protect the user from less severe small-caliber weapons such as handgun and shotgun bullets or smaller fragments from hand grenade explosions.

Furthermore, added material can be integrated into theses vests for better protection using metal or ceramic plates. Hard-plated reinforced vests are commonly used by units with a more extreme and dangerous job description like the military combat soldiers, police tactical and hostage rescue teams. The additional metal or ceramic plates are more effective in protecting the wearer from more serious and aggressive damages. These would include rifle rounds and stabbing or slashing attacks from sharp objects. Protection in their line of work is not limited to bulletproof vests though. Nowadays, other items of protection are also implemented and they can be seen using combat helmets, ballistic shoulder and side protection armor components. On a more serious note, bomb officers oftentimes even use helmets with face visors and spine protection with their heavy armor.

How These Protective Gears Operate

Even though bullet proof vests can prevent bullet penetration, it can still cause damage to the wearer because of blunt force trauma. These vests operate in a way that the fibers merely deform the approaching bullet into a dish shape where its force is distributed on a large area of the fiber material. The deformation enables the bullet to stop before it can completely penetrate and go through the material. Only a few layers of the material can be penetrated by the vest thus absorbing the energy. Nevertheless, the wearer can still absorb partial energy from the bullet and can cause enough impact that can result to trauma. That is why there are vest specifications that give the user details, both on the penetration resistance requirements and the limits on the amount of impact energy that can be brought to the body.

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