Key issues in body armour: threats, materials and design

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Horsfall, Ian (2012)

This chapter will examine the mechanics and materials of body armour in military, police and some security related applications to protect the wearer from penetrative threats. These threats will include battlefield threats such as shell fragments and high velocity bullets, and threats to law enforcement personnel such as handgun bullets and knives. Regardless of whether the threat is a high velocity bullet, or a knife, the essential requirements of body armour are the same; first an interaction must be established to capture the projectile and extract its kinetic energy; second this energy must be dispersed without undue damage to the armour or wearer. Both these aims need to be achieved without significant rearwards protrusion into the wearer. In addition to these protection requirements it is also clear that the armour must be as comfortable as possible and reasonably light. This chapter reviews some of the approaches used to provide protection based on the all these needs. This is a pre-publication chapter published in:- Advances in military textiles and design; Sparks, E (ed); Woodhead Publishing, 2012
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