Body armour has become a necessary item for police and military personnel. Many of these vests are made from a form of Kevlar, a material created by DuPont laboratories, and has saved the lives of more than 3,000 law enforcement officers since it was first created, according to Dupont. There are many interesting and unique aspects of these lifesaving bulletproof vests.
Kevlar was first created at DuPont laboratories in 1965, but it was not until 1975 that the bulletproof vest design would receive its first field tests with law enforcement officers. Three years later, Kevlar vests and flak jackets were adopted by the U.S. military. The bulletproof design was improved to resist shrapnel from grenades and bombs, and a form of bullet- and stab-proof was vest was created for correctional officers.
The vest itself is made of standard fabric such as cotton or nylon, but the Kevlar inserts are placed in into the vests and are either removable for easy replacement or sewn into the vest. When a bullet hits the vest, it hits seven layers of Kevlar material, which are shaped in a spider web pattern. The bullet is caught and stopped by the layers Kevlar spider webs and thus protect the wearer from harm.
A personal Kevlar vest used for everyday wear and protection is made to stop a small- to medium-calibre bullet. These vests are lightweight and more flexible than the ones worn by law enforcement officers. The vests worn by officers can withstand bullets from most hand guns as well as shotguns. Military body armour is made to resist bullets as well as shrapnel from grenades and other ballistic threats.
DuPont, along with International Association of Chiefs of Police, created a survivors club in 1987 for members of the law enforcement community who have had their lives saved from fatal or disabling injuries through the protection of Kevlar bulletproof vests, according to DuPont. The club currently has 3,000 members from law enforcement agencies across the United States.