What are the different types of bullet proof vests?

Published: 26th January 2010
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Bullet proof vests though have been present since ages, its designs and the materials used have evolved over time. It is needless to say that such a vest makes one physically and psychologically secured against potential risks such as fire-arms, knife attacks, etc. A bullet proof jacket provides the same function but it is worn outside and not inside like a vest, making it much for comfortable for the user. These vests are available in different varieties (classified according to the material and its capability to withstand fire-arm shots and knife blows), providing the customer with the opportunity to get the one that is the most suitable for him/her.

In terms of material there are quite a large number of types to select from. These are basically hard or soft. The soft bullet proof vests is prepared from layers of laminated or woven materials that is light and comfortable and protects from gunshots and stabs but for greater protection one must settle with the hard material bullet proof jacket.

The most standard and common material used for making bullet proof vests is Kevlar. It is an organic fiber, which was introduced around the time 1969-1970. Kevlar is highly effective against fire-arm projectiles because of its high tensile strength. It is quite sturdy but still it suffers from a number of disadvantages. Kevlar is very expensive and moreover, the impact energy of the bullets cannot be totally dispersed in case of Kevlar bullet proof vests.

There are other soft materials like GoldFlex, Zylon, Dragon Skin, etc. that are quite like Kevlar but tend to be more expensive. Zylon should be avoided as it easily wears out. Spider silk is another light weight material but is very strong; this material is very scarcely produced so it is less likely that you get your hands on one.

Among the hard materials, metals and ceramics dominate the market. Ceramic is robust and is heat resistant. The only problem with ceramic is that it is brittle and easily breaks in one gun shot. Metal plate is a very good hard material, although it is generally used by the armed forces for its very heavy weight.

Nanotechnology has also been contributing significantly in the production of bullet proof jacket. The bullet proof vests made from nano particles are very rigid and can also withstand high shock pressures.

These days these safety vests are made more stylish with the advent of leather bullet proof jacket. Though these are worn for protecting oneself but designers are trying to make it more fashionable too. There are customized jackets as well, which are prepared by the manufacturers to specially fit your size.

There are different types of bullet proof vests, which have varied protection powers. There are type I, II-A, II, III-A, III and IV bullet proof jacket available, which are in the order of increasing protection, i.e. the type I provides the least protection whereas type IV evens works well against the armor piercing bullet. The type III and IV are much heavier than I, II-A, II or III-A; but it provides better strength and endurance.

The bullet proof vests or bullet proof jacket are available in a variety of materials; purchase the one that serves your purpose.

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