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What is body armour and how it saves lives

Опубликовано: 27.05.2022

If Hollywood movies are to be believed, a man in a bulletproof vest becomes invulnerable to any kind of weapon. All you have to do is wear a bulletproof vest, and you can run in front of bullets. But this is just another movie myth. We'll explain why.

What is body armour and how it saves lives

What is a bulletproof vest?

Waistcoat is an individual protection element in the form of a waistcoat that protects a person's torso from the impact of cold and firearms, as well as from fragments of shells, mines and grenades. It is made up of materials capable of stopping bullets or fragments and dissipating their energy: ballistic fabric, metal (in steel, titanium or aluminium-based alloys) or ceramic (in aluminium oxide, boron carbide or silicon carbide) plates.

Why the torso? Why not the head?

The torso is easier to hit, and therefore, if somebody wants to kill someone with a gun from a distance, they aim at the torso, and then, as luck would have it. That's where most of the vital organs are.

A bulletproof vest is not a panacea

Let's be clear, body armour is not a panacea, it's a means of increasing your chances of survival if you are the target. No body armour in the world is 100% guaranteed. You can maximise your chances by taking a bulletproof vest with maximum area and degree of protection. But that option would be very expensive and weigh a lot. Such suits are made, but they are designed for stormtroopers or sappers.

Also, even if the body armour has stopped a bullet, it doesn't mean it's all over. There is such a thing as a barrage injury. The thing is that the speed of a bullet is enormous: 300-400 m/s for a pistol and 800-900 m/s for an automatic weapon, which means that a second after the shot, while a person blinks, the bullet will already be at a distance of nearly 1 kilometre! When this tiny piece of metal hits something, which it cannot penetrate, at a breakneck speed all the energy of the bullet is instantly transmitted to this obstacle. This energy is enough to break bones or tear internal organs even through armour plate. That is why it is so important that the body armour is of good quality and can withstand the impact.

Another important factor is bullet fragments and ricochets. When hitting the armour, the bullet may ricochet or explode into small fragments. This is extremely dangerous, because if they fly off the body armour, they may hit the neck, beard or other parts of the body not protected by the armour. For this reason, the armour plate in a bullet-proof waistcoat must always contain a splinter-proof layer https://uarmprotection.com/shop/for-sale/tt.

The main purpose of the body armour in warfare is to protect against shrapnel without hindering movement. It is shrapnel from mines and shells that takes the most lives, not bullets, as many mistakenly believe. You can shield yourself with as much armor as you want, but a sniper will still find a soft spot. But if you come under artillery or mortar fire, it's much more important to take cover quickly. That is why modern flak jackets for the military have a large area of soft armor, and only in the centre of the torso lungs and heart are protected by an armored plate.

There are a lot of different weapons: one bullet is big and heavy, but flies slowly; another is light and small, but flies with great speed. That's why body armour designed to protect against one type of bullet may not be able to withstand another type of ammunition. This is why there are many different types of body armour.


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