Ballistic helmets are designed to protect against ballistic threats by absorbing and redistributing their energy. The materials used in their construction, including aramid fibers, composites, and UHMWPE, are chosen for their high tensile strength and lightweight properties.
Layers in Ballistic Helmets
Most ballistic helmets consist of multiple layers of material. Depending on the material composition, the outer layer may be designed to break up a bullet and redistribute the force, while the inner layers are intended to redirect the velocity of the bullet or fragments away from the head through the contour of the helmet.
Shape of Ballistic Helmets
The shape of a ballistic helmet is also important in stopping bullets. Helmets are designed to fit snugly on the head and provide coverage for the front, back, and sides. This shape helps to distribute the impact of a bullet over a wider area, reducing the risk of injury.
Testing of Ballistic Helmets
Ballistic helmets undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the necessary standards for protection. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) sets the standards for ballistic protection in the United States, and helmets must pass certification tests to receive approval. At Ballistic Armor Co., for example, every batch of helmets undergoes NIJ levels of testing as a standard quality control measure.
Materials Used in Ballistic Helmets
Ballistic helmets are made of various materials that can absorb and disperse the impact of ballistic threats, fragments, and shrapnel. Some of the most common materials used in ballistic helmets include
Aramid fibers: A class of synthetic fibers used in body armor and ballistic helmets. Kevlar® is a popular example of this
Composite materials: A combination of two or more materials that offer enhanced ballistic protection and durability
UHMWPE: Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, a strong and lightweight material commonly used for personal protective equipment
Overall, ballistic helmets are a crucial tool for protecting those at risk of ballistic threats. Their design, materials, and testing standards all contribute to their ability to absorb and disperse the energy of bullets and other ballistic threats. Understanding how ballistic helmets work and what materials they're made of can help individuals make informed decisions about their protective equipment.