Using Aramid Fibre To Stop Knife And Spike Attacks

Close-up photo of a sharp knife blade placed on a white surface

Having body armour that can repel both ballistic and stabbing threats is like having the best of both worlds. While there are ballistic vests that do offer stabbing protection to some degree, it’s still not efficient enough to be certifiable by global standards. Scientists who work exclusively in the field of ballistic and body armour sciences are constantly looking for new ways to produce better body armour for law enforcement, the military, and qualified civilians. There have been recent advancements in the body armour field; researchers have introduced a special process called Hybridisation.

When layers of Aramid fibre are infused with thermoplastic film and then wetted with the dilatant shear thickening fluid (STF), then you’re working with a different piece of amour altogether. Scientists were able to observe dynamic stab properties of authentic ballistic-resistant fabrics certifiable by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standards via trial test.

How Hybridisation is Done

The scientists use Surlyn® thermoplastic film of 3-millimetre thickness for the task. Thermoplastic-impregnated Aramid fibre fabric is used on the top and bottom of a stack of layers, a grouping of STF-saturated hydrophilic Aramid fibre and other supplemental composites in between. This hybrid combination is then tested for resistance to spike and knife penetration under a range of forceful conditions. In both static and dynamic stab testing, the hybrid armour with STF-impregnated fabrics exhibits improved stab resistance to both knife and spike threats and is certifiable by NIJ standards.

What Can This Hybridised Armour Protect Against

Certifiable stab resistance body armour applications all must conform to the standards of the HOSDB and NIJ. When stab-resistant armour is tested, it’s done with high-quality, commercially-machined knife blades and narrow, lower-grade, spiked instruments.

There are two sub-divisions of the engineered knife testing class. The archetypal small knife is referred to as a P1 blade in standard testing. The other class is representative of larger more advanced blades (i.e. cleaver classes, combat classes, kitchen knives) and is referred to as the S1 blade testing standard. A defining characteristic of a commercially-machined knife is a stiff backbone coming to a pointed tip. While the P1 blade is thinner and has one single cutting edge, the S1 blade is thicker and has two or more cutting edges.

A spike-style weapon characteristically resembles an ice pick. This class is representative of what inmates will fashion into makeshift weapons in penitentiaries. Official testing is based on the “California Ice Pick” standard.

Any stab weapon can be repelled.

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