Ballistic Protection

Written by Renee Eng
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When buying body armor the most important issue to look at is what level of ballistic protection you're getting for your money. Graded from I to IV, protection levels are not cheap. In addition, the protective garment will be thicker and bulkier as the level of protection goes up. Level III is a good maximum to go for unless you're going to be in active combat somewhere.

You might wonder how mere fabric can actually provide ballistic protection against an array of modern weapons. The theory is quite simple actually. Upon impact, the fabric simply absorbs the impact and distributes it, so that instead of being concentrated in one tiny area, it is spread over a much wider area. It's the same principle that works for snow shoes, basically.

Raising Levels of Ballistic Protection

There are many different manufacturers producing fabric intended for some kind of ballistic protection now. Among the leaders in the industry is Dupont, who produce Kevlar. This is the fabric of choice for several official US security agencies as well as military and law enforcement agencies. Its record is exemplary in the protection field, and Dupont works constantly to upgrade their products according to the latest industry developments. Another very important producer is Honeywell with its Spectra.

Remember that if a garment provides ballistic protection, it does not necessarily also provide protection against a stab or puncture wound. It is essential if you think you are going to need this kind of protection that you ask for a garment that is specially designed to give both types of defense. In addition, some body armor garments are fitted with ceramic inserts, which will even protect against a sub machine gun. Of course, such protection comes at a price and these garments are considerably more bulky than their less protective counterparts, but peace of mind is priceless!

New technology enables Spectra to be pressed. Please note that Spectra is the name of the fiber in the USA and Dyneema is the name in Europe and Asia. But we are talking about the same material. This results is inserts which are much lighter, more shock absorbing and which have a much better multi-hit capability. These inserts are more expensive however.


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