HOW DOES SOFT BODY ARMOR WORK
When a bullet or projectile strikes body armor, it is caught in a "web" of high performance fibers that are layered and stitched to exceed certain bullet resistant specifications. The engaged fibers absorb and disperse the impact energy that is transmitted to the vest from the bullet, causing the bullet to deform or "mushroom". Additional energy is absorbed by each successive layer of material in the vest, until such time as the bullet has been stopped. Because the fibers work together in both the individual layer and with other layers of material in the vest, a large area of the garment becomes involved in preventing the bullet from penetrating, as well as dissipating the forces which can cause non-penetrating injuries to internal organs.
Since soft body armor deforms backward upon impact, it also deforms backward into the wearer of the vest. The damage to tissue caused by this transfer of kinetic energy is called blunt trauma. Minimizing blunt trauma helps save lives, since it not only reduces internal injury, but prevents temporary incapacitation during the initial hit, allowing the wearer to respond immediately in a high-threat situation.
In testing against a soft clay backstop, a 1.7" (44 mm) deformation is the maximum indication of blunt trauma allowed by The National Institute of Justice (NIJ). As illustrated in Figure 1.2, PACA holds itself to an internal standard that is more stringent than NIJ requirements.
According to research conducted by The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the risk of fatal injuries for officers who do not routinely wear body armor is 14 times greater than for those who do. As a company dedicated to serving the law enforcement and corrections community, a startling statistic such as this is the driving force behind our primary commitment, to provide the safest, most comfortable body armor in the world. To date, the lives of over 3,000 law enforcement officers have been saved by the use of bullet-resistant body armor. Officers trust PACA's line of concealable and tactical body armor because they know they don't have to compromise comfort for performance. As street threats increase in number and capacity, our experts in the PBSI Armor Group Technology and Testing Center are continuously testing and evaluating new advancements in ballistic technology to produce vests which not only offer superior protection but optimum comfort for daily wear. PACA is proud to stand at the forefront of this endeavor and will work diligently to communicate the importance of body armor, so that officers will stay protected.