Bulletproof helmets are helmets that can resist bullets and are designed to defend fragments. In simple words, the helmet that protects your head against bullets, glass, shrapnel, etc. during battle is known as a bulletproof helmet.
However, the term “bulletproof” is often misinterpreted as according to Merriam-webster, it is defined as impenetrable to bullets, while such helmets are only designed to resist them and are not impenetrable. Here, we seek to provide an insight into the making of bulletproof helmets, the materials, industry and much more. Continue reading to know more.
The material of bulletproof helmets
Traditionally, half retention systems and nylon webbing were used as the bulletproof helmet materials; however, that’s not the case nowadays. As the demand for bulletproof helmets is increasing, manufacturers have chosen to incorporate patented padding and suspension systems that manage to provide the finest ballistic helmets.
Certain features are generally added to the bulletproof helmets. Different companies use different technologies, but the ultimate goal is to protect the wearer. Let us look into the features one by one for better understanding:
- Velcro attachment for modularity of the users.
- Efficient padding for a perfect fit on the human head
- Materials with moisture-absorbing quality are used to prevent bacterial growth.
- Better comfort along with safety
- The 4-point chin strap and dial adjustment on the backside of helmet for better retention systems.
These are some of the materials and features provided with the bulletproof helmets for assisting its wearers. With the advancement of technologies, companies manufacturing bulletproof materials are getting advanced too. They have started manufacturing materials that are reliable and can perfectly suit the requirements.
Process of the making bulletproof helmets
The process of making bulletproof helmets or ballistic helmets starts with getting the required number of fibre sheets. Using resin, the fibre sheets are impregnated for properly binding the layers together. These fibre sheets are further cut into different shapes and sizes. The shapes can then be used in a mold and pressed for creating the helmet shape.
The helmets are compression molded at constant temperature and pressure for a fixed amount of time. For instance, the Kevlar/PVB- phenolic PASGT helmet needs constant pressure and temperatures. To achieve the desired pressures, hydraulic systems are put to use with metal molds for compression molding. After molding, the helmets may need trimming for completing the production process.
We have explained the process in brief above using a simplified approach; however, the actual process is significantly more complex. Nevertheless, a broad overview of the manufacturing process of ballistic helmets or bulletproof helmets has been provided.
The use of different fibres is practiced using Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthene (UHMWPE) which is popular for making ballistic helmets. Dyneema or Spectra is a popular name used for the fibre of ballistic helmets and is a lightweight and firm strand type fibre. In the year 1963, Albert Penning invented the ballistic helmet that was commercially available for use in the year 1990.
Famous armour making companies like OPS-CORE, Team Wendy, 3M and others pick UHMWPE fibres for the making of helmets. The benefit of using UHMWPE was weight savings, while for aramid it is higher protection levels. The manufacturing process of UHMWPE is intense, and not every manufacturing firm picks it up even though it provides weight savings up to 20-30%.
We hope this article has allowed the reader to understand more about the process and materials used in the manufacturing of the bulletproof helmets.