Workers that are in the line of fire routinely wear protective gear so that they can guard themselves against potential fatal injuries. One of the most important pieces of protection that these individuals can wear is a Personal Body Armor bulletproof vest. This shield-like jacket is designed to provide individuals with safeguard against bullets and even stabbing. While bulletproof vests are merely bullet-resistant more than bullet-proof, there is no doubt that these protective devices are saving lives every day.
There are two common types of materials that are used to make bulletproof vests, which are Kevlar and Spectra Shield. Each of these vests is created using a different manufacturing technique. More information can be found at MadeHow.
Kevlar is also referred to as poly-para-phenylene terephtalamide. It was created in 1965 by a scientist from DuPont named Stephanie Kwolwk. This high-strength product is a liquid polymer that is spun into a fiber which is used to create the body armor.
The thread is first created in the lab by completing a process called polymerization, which brings together the molecules into a liquid form. The liquid is then pushed through a spinneret to create long strands that are then cooled to harden the product into thread. The thread is then spun together to make the Kevlar yarn, which is the cloth that is used to create the body armor. The bulletproof vest manufacturers take the Kevlar cloth and create layers of the product that are then sewn together using Kevlar yarn.
This product was introduced in 1989 by the Allied Signal Company, as a rival to Kevlar. The main difference between Kevlar and Spectra is that Spectra bulletproof vests are not created by weaving yarn together. Instead, Spectra fibers (made out of polyethylene polymer filaments) are laid parallel to each other and are then coated with a resin to bond them together.
These Spectra sheets are then layered and coated once more to create a cloth that is nonwoven. To install the Spectra panels on the body armor, the panels are simply inserted into pockets or pouches on the vest without any type of sewing or adhesion being used.
As you can see, the process to create the bulletproof vests is different between Kevlar and Spectra. However, the end result is the same – a protective device that affords military personnel, law enforcement and private contractors/civilians the protection they require from bullets, as well as possible stabbings.