Gun usage is at an all-time high and it is not a good news for law enforcement professionals as well as armed forces. With more weapons on the street, the law enforcers face a stronger threat of violence against them. In order to counter the threat to police as well as to armed forces around the globe, bulletproof jackets are used. They are able to stop the maximum impact of bullets and thus, save many lives.
The concept of protection against bullets is very old and bulletproof jacket have been around for well over a hundred years. Different materials have been used with varying levels to effectiveness. They have, however, refined over the years with better protection being offered. The jackets have also gotten lighter and more practical to use.
There are different levels of protection these bulletproof jackets offer and they are rated as such. The Type I jacket, for example, protects against a 0.22 long rifle lead rounds shot a velocity of 329m/s. The armor levels range from Type I to Type IV.
Materials used in the contemporary bulletproof jackets range from Kevlar to polymers to aramid fibers. A number of manufacturers have come up with their own versions of these raw materials, improving them in certain ways to offer better protection and lighter weights at the same time. These materials are usually formed in form of fibers which may be woven or spun as per the needs of the given fabric. Resin is also used in the manufacturing process to bind the layers of the materials to form the finished product.
The manufacturing starts with designing of the bulletproof jacket which is usually done with the help of computer software. The sheets of the material are cut as per the design. The cuts may be done manually or with the help of a computer aided cutter.
The sheets are then put together by stitching. The stitching is usually done with the help of handheld sewing machines as precision is needed. Some materials, however, do not need to be stitched and can be put together by adding pressure.
Stringent quality checks are imperative for these bulletproof jackets to ensure that the security personnel that use them stay out of harm’s way in the line of duty. Testing standards vary though are in place to ensure that the vests meet the standard of safety defined as per their armor type. Usually multiple bullets are fired at the test vests to ensure they are up to the mark.