Type of Document Thesis Author Fowler, Jessica URN etd-09172003-202856 Title The Evaluation And Testing Two Ballistic Vests: A Comparison Of Comfort Degree Master of Science Department Textiles and Consumer Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Catherine M. Black Committee Chair Emily M. Haymes Committee Member Howard L. Thomas, Jr. Committee Member Rinn M. Cloud Committee Member Keywords
- Ballistic Vests
- Thermal Acceptability
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractSince the 1970s, law enforcement officers have worn concealable body armor for protection against ballistic threats. Although current body armor may offer effective ballistic protection, it does not adequately meet other needs of the officers. Many officers fail to wear their vests because they are uncomfortable (Olsen, 1981; Ruthorford-Black & Khan, 1995; Watkins, 1995). When officers do wear their vests, their performance can be affected by their comfort level when wearing vests (Watkins, 1995). Previous
research has identified three aspects of comfort: fit, mobility, and thermal acceptability
(Huck, Maganga, & Kim, 1997; Huck & Kim, 1997; Tan, Crown, & Capjack, 1998).
This study examined comfort related to Level II ballistic vests worn by male law
enforcement officers, with emphasis placed on such aspects as fit, mobility, and thermal
The overall purpose of this study was to evaluate two types of bullet resistant
vests for male police officers. The levels of satisfaction for each vest type were
compared to help identify ways of improving ballistic vests. Both vest types were the
traditional ballistic vest design and used the same carrier. The two Level II ballistic panel
inserts were also of similar design but were made of different fabrication: one vest panel was made of traditional ballistic fabric while the prototype panel incorporated layers of an experimental ballistic fabric, ArmorFelt, a needled felt of high performance fiber blends. The research followed DeJonge’s Functional Design Process.
Ten male law enforcement officers from the Tallahassee Police Department participated in a range of motion test and a movement analysis wearing the two vest types. They also completed a wearer acceptability questionnaire for each vest. For control measurements, each officer also completed the range of motion test and movement analysis without their vest.
The results indicated that: 1) there was not a significant difference between the prototype and traditional vest function when officers performed task-related movements;
2) there was no significant difference in the level of fit satisfaction for the wearer
between the prototype vest and traditional vest; 3) no significant difference in comfort of
the vests occurred when the traditional and the prototype vests were compared; 4) overall
satisfaction levels related to vest performance and comfort showed no significant difference when officers compared the traditional and the prototype vests.
Although the results showed no significant difference between the two vest treatments, the prototype vest was reported as cooler to wear, more comfortable, easier to move in, and more flexible. The officers also indicated that the prototype vest was more acceptable to wear.
Filename Size Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds)
28.8 Modem 56K Modem ISDN (64 Kb) ISDN (128 Kb) Higher-speed Access 01_jf_preliminary_pages.pdf 89.45 Kb 00:00:24 00:00:12 00:00:11 00:00:05 < 00:00:01 02_jf_body_of_text.pdf 261.72 Kb 00:01:12 00:00:37 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01 03_jf_Appendix_A.pdf 458.58 Kb 00:02:07 00:01:05 00:00:57 00:00:28 00:00:02 04_jf_References.pdf 85.13 Kb 00:00:23 00:00:12 00:00:10 00:00:05 < 00:00:01 05_jf_Biographical_Sketch.pdf 81.82 Kb 00:00:22 00:00:11 00:00:10 00:00:05 < 00:00:01