Bulletproof vests are made of a material called kevlar. It is a plastic or polymer that was discovered in 1965 and is characterized by being stronger than steel, but at the same time more elastic than other material such as carbon fiber. These properties allow it to resist fire very well, in addition to absorbing the impact of bullets and chips. Also these vests can also include a series of metal or ceramic plates to help protect their wearer from rifle projectiles.
In any case, they are not impenetrable or totally efficient, since there are bullet calibres that manage to overcome their defence. The more layers of this component the vest has, the more resistant it will be. A normal model can absorb the energy of a bullet going to 370 m / s, in which case the skin would sink about 4 centimeters, but without causing serious injuries. They are usually employed by the police, by private security and even by civilians; although they are also used in military armor, sports shoes or tennis rackets.
Many of the vests offer a guarantee between 5 and 10 years. But the truth is that the vest guarantee must be recalculated by each user according to their level of use. A vest that is worn on a daily basis will lose its properties before a vest that has not been touched off the shelves. Unfortunately there is no system to count the hours of use of each vest, but you should check it regularly for scratches, burns, friction and various damages. If you wear your vest like an old shirt, it will age much faster than if you take care of it, clean it and maintain it.
Many vests come or should come with an instruction book and warranty. Make sure that’s the case. If the purchase is made by the Police, they must receive an invoice indicating the serial numbers of each of the vests. If there is a registration card, fill it with your information and send it.
When the Zylon thing happened, many companies had great trouble locating all customers since they had not filled out the registration cards for their faulty vests. More detail can be found here at https://guardianoutfitters.ca/collections/training
What is the best bulletproof vest?
In first need to analyze what the real risk involved in performing your job and think of a vest that’ll have to use at all times and circumstances (cold does, heat, rain, come many or few hours, sitting, standing, …) because you really don’t know when you are going to have to face a risky situation. It seems obvious … but it is not so much. We always say that the worst and most expensive vest is the one that is not used or that cannot be used at all times.
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For a bulletproof vest to always be used, it has to be a light and comfortable safety garment to wear. Technology has evolved enormously in this field and today we can find bulletproof vests (like our GLADIUS line) equipped with bulletproof, anti-knife and anti-trauma panels that are really easy to always carry, in any circumstance (daily patrols, an operation special, a civilian follow-up, an escort service, …). Do not choose a vest just because it is the one that will offer you the most security but because you can use it regularly, it is comfortable and you have covered the real risk of your vital areas.
For a bulletproof vest to be really comfortable and easy to wear, it must be of your size, fit snugly and have a specific design, whether for men or women. The anatomy and proportions of the female body are different from the male and must be taken into account when designing this garment to be truly effective.
Continuing with the question How to choose the best bulletproof vest, the second important aspect that must be taken into account is the manufacture, materials, approval, guarantees, insurance and authorities that have tested it. In each country, there are different quality controls that can be decisive in establishing the degree of security that a bulletproof vest offers us, depending on where it comes from. In Europe there is no common regulation on this matter as it happens with other Individual Protection Elements