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Evaluation of test regimes for stab-resistant body armour

Walker, Colin and Gray, Thomas and Nicol, Alexander and Chadwick, E.K.J. (2004) Evaluation of test regimes for stab-resistant body armour. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications, 218 (4). pp. 355-363. ISSN 1464-4207

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Abstract

Modern lightweight stab-resistant body armour has been developed in response to the operational requirements and the experiences of police forces. While a high degree of protection may be afforded to the wearer, this has usually been achieved at the expense of weight, stiffness, and comfort. The use of a test method to measure the protection level of a proposed design against a target specification is inherent in the design and development process. This study reviews data used to establish recent improvements in standard test methods, and shows that deficiencies in current standards may well lead to over-specification of body armour. It is shown that more detailed characterization of real human stabbing actions is needed and the test situation needs to be viewed as a multibody, dynamic interaction if results are to be obtained that reflect the reality of an attack. The information will be of particular interest to body armour manufacturers and researchers working to improve armour design.