Personal protection equipment

  • First respondersImproving gloves to enhance first responders’ safety

    Firefighters wear protective gloves called “structure gloves” to keep their hands safe on the job. The structure gloves currently used by firefighters, however, are not designed for the precision movements first responders must perform. There are many different types of structure gloves available, but none fully satisfies modern firefighters’ needs. Today’s compact tools often have small buttons that require nimble movements. Bulky gloves can make it difficult for firefighters to complete simple tasks without removing their gloves and compromising their safety. As advanced textile technology and materials continue to develop, the science behind firefighter structure gloves has adapted.

  • Bullet-deflecting accessories16-year old Seattle girl escapes injury: her glasses deflect bullet

    A 16-year old girl escaped potentially life-threatening injury when the glasses she was wearing deflected a bullet fired from a car toward her Seattle home, the Seattle police said. The girl was asleep on her living room couch, with her glasses on, near 10:00 p.m. on Saturday when several shots were fired at the house from a dark-colored sedan. Most of the bullets went through the walls of the house, but one of them went through the front window, striking the bridge of the teen’s glasses. The girl suffered only minor injuries.

  • ConspiraciesDHS: conspiracy theories about DHS purchases unequivocally false

    Conspiracy theorists have pointed to several DHS solicitations for gear and ammunition as “proof” that the department is in the process of creating, training, and equipping a secret force, the purpose of which would be to suppress public dissent – or worse: one blogger wrote that “Another possible conclusion [regarding DHS’s ammo purchases] is that the bullets are intended to coerce and, if need be, kill us.” DHS flatly rejects these conspiratorial assertions as unequivocally false, saying that each and every purchase is in line with past purchases and in support of on-going, legitimate, and transparent departmental operations.

  • In the trenchesResearchers fabricate new camouflage coating from squid protein

    What can the U.S. military learn from a common squid? A lot about how to hide from enemies, according to researchers. Researchers show that material that mimics calamari skin is invisible to infrared cameras, which is a good thing since infrared detection equipment is employed extensively by military forces for night vision, navigation, surveillance, and targeting.

  • Personal protection equipmentNanostructured material stronger than a speeding bullet

    By David L. Chandler

    Providing protection against impacts from bullets and other high-speed projectiles is more than just a matter of brute strength; while traditional shields have been made of bulky materials such as steel, newer body armor made of lightweight material such as Kevlar has shown that thickness and weight are not necessary for absorbing the energy of impacts; new tests of nanostructured material could lead to better armor against everything from gunfire to micrometeorites

  • Personal protection equipmentNew military apparel repels chemical, biological agents

    Scientists are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric; the material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state; the highly breathable membranes would have pores made of a few-nanometer-wide vertically aligned carbon nanotubes that are surface modified with a chemical warfare agent-responsive functional layer

  • Personal protection equipmentMantis shrimp could inspire new body, vehicle armor

    The unique and highly complex structure of fist-like club of mantis shrimp could transform materials used to create military body armor and vehicle and aircraft frames

  • Personal protective equipmentAir-conditioned protective clothing for police, first responders, soldiers

    Bullet-proof vests made of Kevlar; the material holds off bullets, but it also impenetrable to water vapor; police personnel who must wear such gear under their uniforms sweat profusely when the weather is warm; researchers develop a “smart,” air-conditioned protective vest, and the smart cooling technology is also suitable for protective suits worn over normal clothing, uniform jackets, camouflage suits

  • Personal protection equipmenDHS to equip border agents with new body armor

    The Customs and Border Protection buys $48,629,750 worth of personal body armor from North Carolina-based KDH Defense systems

  • MaterialsE-textiles now come with memory-storing fiber

    E-textiles could help soldiers, first responders — but also the sick and infirm; the integration of electronics into textiles is a growing field of research that may soon enable smart fabrics and wearable electronics

  • Twin Towers attackWhy the Twin Towers collapsed: new theory

    Materials scientist says that a mixture of water from sprinkler systems and molten aluminum from melted aircraft hulls created explosions that led to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11

  • New vest offers GPS tacking and other information

    Canadian company Laipac Technology is showing its S911 GPS Vest which the company describes as “a high coverage assault protection designed for military, tactical law enforcement and VIP personnel that demand the highest protection.”

  • Personal protection equipmentToo much armor hampered French

    The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armor; during warfare in the fifteenth century, soldiers wore steel plate armor, typically weighing 30-50 kg; this may have been a contributing factor in whether an army won or lost a battle

  • Personal protection equipmentCeramic armor receives development prize

    New ceramic armor has many advantages: currently the ceramic composite offers a 30 percent weight saving compared with an armor plate of the same size made of alumina ceramics and is 15 percent lighter than another widely used ceramic armor, silicon carbide; it also requires a much lower furnace temperature meaning less energy is used and less CO2 is produced in manufacture, making it an environmentally-friendly product

  • First respondersImproving safety in the presence of chemical hazards

    A new kind of sensor could warn emergency workers when carbon filters in the respirators they wear to avoid inhaling toxic fumes have become dangerously saturated; first responders protect themselves from such vapors, whose composition is often unknown, by breathing through a canister filled with activated charcoal — a gas mask; airborne toxins stick to the carbon in the filter, trapping the dangerous materials, and as the filters become saturated, chemicals will begin to pass through; the respirator can then do more harm than good by providing an illusion of safety