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TenCate Advanced Armor USA has bought the Smart Body Armor sensor technology from Newport Sensors, an industry leader in sensor technology innovation.

It is a network of sensors integrated onto the surface of the hard body armour insert, which provides body armour users the ability to inspect, in real-time, the ballistic integrity of hard body armour inserts. The technology has been validated through extensive testing conducted in cooperation with the US Army.

The testing determined that TenCate Smart Body Armor is durable in the most extreme environments. It is said to provide military and law enforcement personnel an easy to use, anywhere anytime ability to inspect their body armour, which would enhance their safety and survivability, the company reports.

Hard body armour insert inspection
Very high levels of personnel protection can be achieved utilising hard body armour inserts made with various advanced materials. While these advanced materials are very effective at stopping ballistic threats, they can also be damaged while in use, especially in the typically very harsh combat and law enforcement environments.

The consequential damage can result in seriously degraded ballistic protection. Such damage can be very difficult to detect requiring the user to remove his or her personal protection from use and return the hard armour insert to a testing facility for non-destructive testing such as x-ray, to validate the hard body armour insert is still approved for use.

Such testing may not be readily available, may be expensive, time consuming and not very reliable. Using the TenCate Smart Body Armor, a soldier or law enforcement officer will be able to inspect their body armour routinely especially when they suspect it may have been damaged and obtain results instantaneously.

Smart wearable technology
“The growing demand by military and global law enforcement for lightweight systems that provide protection against the full spectrum of rifle threats requires continuous innovation,” said Mark Bajko, Vice President of TenCate Advanced Armor USA.

“TenCate is committed to staying in the market leadership position by utilising advanced materials, smart wearable sensors, and proprietary manufacturing processes to produce our full range of tactical hard body armour inserts,” he added.

“TenCate is committed to innovating and incorporating high performance protection technologies that insure our products provide the best protection at the best value. Our innovative composite armour solutions continue to grow as does our smart protection technology product portfolio such as our underbody vehicle IED protection system, TenCate ABDS active blast countermeasure system.”

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Body Armor Exhibitions

The Safariland Group announced today that it has been awarded a $6,000,000 two-year contract from the State of California for its Second Chance(R) body armor. This contract is for Second Chance Summit(TM), Prism(R) and Prism MT series body armor products for all California agency employees requiring ballistics and stab protection, and allows for two one-year contract extensions. In addition, both city and county agencies within the State of California may also purchase armor equipment through this contract.

“We are equipped with one of the most advanced testing laboratories in the world. Our body armor products are designed by highly-experienced ballistic engineers and a network of supplier-partners including Honeywell, DuPont and Teijin,” said Todd Mackler, Vice President – Armor, The Safariland Group. “After holding a body armor contract with the State of California for the past five years, we are proud to continue to protect these officers with high-quality and trusted body armor.”

This contract specifies Summit threat type II and threat type IIIA male and female concealable body armor. These vests feature the latest in state-of-the-art technologies that make them among the softest and most comfortable vests available, and are constructed with advanced materials including those produced exclusively for the Second Chance brand. By interweaving ballistic fabrics with proprietary design techniques, these vests provide a high level of protection yet are made from some of the lightest weight materials available to the industry today.

California agencies will also wear Prism and Prism MT Series vests. These armor solutions provide protection against corrections-made weapons classified as circular penetrators while the Prism MT also protects against ballistic threats. Made with a woven aramid corrections material, these body armor vests provide dependable protection while maintaining a thin and lightweight design.

All Second Chance armor solutions have been tested against the rigorous National Institute of Justice standards.

The General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference, or GPEC, had another great year with attendees traveling to the conference, held in Leipzig, Germany, from more than 28 countries.

Any way you measure it, 2014 was another great year for the General Police Equipment Exhibition & Conference, or GPEC, held in Leipzig, Germany, on September 9th through the 11th. There were more than 500 vendor displays of a wide range of police and security products from countries all around the world.

Displays included vendors of surveillance technology, forensic sciences, EOD systems, body armor, road safety, and non-lethal defensive weapon systems. The event was a virtual Who’s Who of body armor manufacturers including EnGarde, BSST, Mehler Law Enforcement GmbH, MKU, Proteq, Verseitag and MK Technology.

BSST was showing off its new body armor models, including a K-9 vest, while MKU introduced the new and lighter 6th Generation ballistic protection technology called Ammoflex-6 and Polyshield. The real star in the body armor category turned out to be EnGarde Body Armor’s FLEX-PRO™ panel. Available in NIJ Level II and IIIA configurations, the FLEX-PRO™ is one of the lightest and most flexible body armor products on the market today.

The FLEX-PRO™ drew a lot of attention from attendees, particularly representatives of various German law enforcement agencies, as it’s the lightest and most flexible panel on the market to meet Germany’s exacting SK1 threat standard. Several agencies made inquiries about custom applications and kept the EnGarde staff busy through the entire show arranging samples for testing specific applications.

The largest crowds showed up on the second day of the show and those attending the first day had plenty of time to take in all the exhibits without rushing. Since Germany was the host country, virtually every German law enforcement, military and special operations group had representatives at the show. German car companies were well represented by Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen all showing off tactical and specialty vehicles for military and law enforcement applications. BMW brought samples of its latest police cruisers, including the X5 Security Plus and one model that has room for a helicopter stretcher. BMW also showed off their line of motorcycles for law enforcement and traffic control.

While the crowds weren’t as large as some other shows this year, the attendees all came with a laundry list of specialty applications, many of which would require custom solutions. What the event lacked in foot traffic it more than made up for with buyers willing to spend more on custom solutions.

GPEC is held bi-annually and ranks as one of the largest shows dedicated specifically to police and law enforcement applications in Germany.

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Wearing a body armor vest, a bicycle helmet and other police gear, Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Todd Webb stood straight-faced Thursday afternoon as he swallowed a fat, white pill.

He then took a few steps and hopped on his bicycle while the pill — a tiny thermometer encapsulated in a silicon shell — worked its way into Webb’s digestive system where it would measure his body temperature as he bicycled around downtown Baton Rouge.

Webb, like many Baton Rouge police officers this week, took the pill as part of a nationwide research study aimed at determining what can be done to make body armor, most notably bulletproof vests, as cool and comfortable as possible without jeopardizing the armor’s main purpose: keeping people safe.

Police officers around the nation have complained that wearing body armor makes them feel too hot. So much so, in fact, that some officers elect to forgo body armor under their uniforms because it’s just too toasty, said Doug Kleiner, a researcher involved in the study who also is a police officer in Florida.

It’s like wearing a trash bag,

Webb, the Baton Rouge police officer, said of donning a bulletproof vest.

After hearing similar sentiments about body armor from officers across the country, the National Institute of Justice commissioned the study. Working alongside a research professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, Kleiner traveled to a handful of law enforcement agencies from Los Angeles to Tampa Bay, Florida, handing out the pills to measure the officers’ body temperatures.

Officers wear a radio slightly larger than a deck of cards after taking the pill, which transmits signals from inside the body to the receiver. The receiver then records the body temperatures collected by the thermometer inside the pill, Kleiner said.

Each individual pill is only used once, and a pill does not have to be collected once it passes through someone’s digestive system.R

Researchers will analyze the results to determine exactly how hot officers get while wearing the vests, which Kleiner describes as bullet-resistant, not bulletproof.

Depending on the results, the government will then work with body armor manufacturers to determine what changes can be made while still ensuring armor serves its purpose effectively, Kleiner said.He said NASA developed the technology of testing body temperatures by using the encapsulated thermometers, and they have been used by astronauts, the military and athletes.

Members of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s Special Response Team, Uniform Patrol Division, motorcycle unit, K-9 unit and mounted patrol unit tested the technology this week.

The Police Department highly recommends its officers wear body armor at all times, although it’s not mandatory, said Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a police spokesman.

However, the body armor must be “immediately available” if it’s not being worn, he said.

Coppola said he always wears his vest when dressed in full uniform. Although the vest does make him feel hot, the protection is certainly worth the discomfort, he said.

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Oxide armour offers Kevlar better stab resistance

Aramid fabric woven para aramid_

Scientists in the US have synthesised an ultrathin inorganic bilayer coating for Kevlar that could improve its stab resistance by 30% and prove invaluable for military and first-responders requiring multi-threat protection clothes.

Developed in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek at DuPont, poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) (PPTA), or Kevlar, is a para-aramid synthetic fiber deriving its strength from interchain hydrogen bonding. It finds use in flexible energy and electronic systems, but is most commonly associated with bullet-proof body armour.

However, despite its anti-ballistic properties, it offers limited cut and stab protection. In a bid to overcome this drawback, Sarah Atanasov, from Gregory Parsons’ group at North Carolina State University, and colleagues, have developed a TiO2/Al2O3 bilayer that significantly enhances the cut resistance of Kevlar fibers. The coating is added to Kevlar by atomic layer deposition, a low temperature technique with nanoscale precision.

Achieving multi-threat protection usually means donning multiple protective layers.

We want to reduce the burden of protective equipment,

says Atanasov.

Despite its increased hardness over both titania and PPTA, alumina has a negative effect on cut resistance if used alone. When introduced, its tetramethylaluminium (TMA) precursor diffuses and reacts beneath the surface of the PPTA. This degrades the mechanical strength of the polymer by cutting through its backbone and breaking bonds. In contrast, the titania layer is formed by titanium tetrachloride reacting near the polymer surface, which has little effect on the backbone. It must therefore be introduced first to act as a barrier between the TMA and PPTA. This synergistic relationship between the metal oxides is essential to the overall success of the coating.

Materials specialists are enthusiastic about the work. Takashi Uemura, from Kyoto University in Japan, finds it interesting that one can ‘add “armour” to Kevlar to improve its protective properties.’ Bin Ding, of Donghua University in China, says the most interesting result is that ‘Kevlar sees noticeable improvements without substantially affecting its durability, flexibility or weight.’ Other techniques have made concessions in at least one area.

Efforts are now underway to test this coating on a larger scale and the group have high hopes that their findings can one day be applied to protective garments.

September 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Kamenskvolokno joint-stock company (JSC), located in the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in the north of Rostov region, has developed body armor that can protect against bullets with a displaced center of gravity, the firm’s deputy technical director Galina Sklyarova told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

The body armour will take in everything. Today there isn’t any other body armor capable of meeting the new requirements for the protection against heavier bullets, reinforced core bullets and bullets with a displaced center of gravity, Sklyarova said.

Bullets with a displaced center of gravity do not follow a single trajectory inside a human body, instead moving chaotically and causing damage to a person’s internal organs. The new Kamenskvolokno JSC body armor has already been successfully tested against this type of bullets by the company.

“We plan to proceed with state trials by 2016. We need one or two years for prep work,” Sklyarova said, noting that the new body armor will become part of new-generation Russian military gear, which will replace Ratnik gear. Ratnik comprises about 50 components, including firearms, body armor and optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems. Sklyarova noted that the new gear will be two times lighter than Ratnik.