| How Scientists Are Making Ridiculous Strides in Next-Gen Body Armor
The Hoplites, who formed the main Athenian army, wore helmets and body armor made of steel. They also fought with pikes and swords. Spartan soldiers wore body armor consisting of breast and back plates fastened by thongs or straps and buckles. From these Greek legions to modern-day warriors, body armor has been an integral part of every soldiers kit on the battlefield.To get more news about bulletproof zone, you can visit bulletproofboxs.com official website.
As armor advances moved from animal skins and leathers to silks, wood and steel, the weapons also got better. With the arrival of firearms, most classic armors just couldnt hold up.
When Kevlar hit the scene, it revolutionized the protection industry, transforming armor into something relatively lightweight and wearable. Now frontline warriors could know some level of safety when confronting armed threats. But a problem arose: The weapons kept getting better and more powerful, making armor, and soft armor in particular, less capable. Thus, armor would have to catch up again, and as soon as it did, the weapons would improve again.
The path to creating body armor starts at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). All armor marked in the United States needs to be certified by the NIJ. NIJ sets up testing criteria and the foundation for how armor must perform. The NIJ is the first test armor must overcome along the certification and performance path, said Frank Smith, Safarilands director of engineering. For us, the NIJ test is the first step, but of course we want to maximize the performance of our armor against any threat law enforcement officers or others may face.
These days, soft armor development is made up of essentially two types of fibers: para-aramid fibers like Kevlar and Twaron, which are a class of strong, heat-resistant synthetic fibers, and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers like Dyneema and Spectra, said Smith. These fibers have made great progress and are increasingly becoming stronger, but as the 21st century moves on, new armor materials are being experimented with and show some promise.
Safariland is one of the largest companies in the world that develops and provides armor for Americas frontline warriors. Frank Smith runs Safarilands armor research and development facilities in Ontario, California. The facilities have a state-of-the-art ballistics lab that can emulate all of the current testing standards of the NIJ.
When we develop armor, we look to ensure that it not only passes all of the applicable ballistics tests, but also that it provides maximum protection to the warriors who wear it with comfort and durability. Our goal is to develop armor that you want to wear versus what you have to wear, said Smith.
During armor development, you are conspicuously aware that what you are creating could save a life. As a reminder, Safariland has a SAVES Club with over 1,972 law enforcement officers who have been saved by Safariland-developed armor. When we bring those officers and their families back for a visit, its humbling to realize that they lived because of something you did, said Smith.
While Safariland and other companies are always researching the next great armor technology, promising advances are already out there.