Armour for arms/legs?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by nomdeplume, Nov 28, 2007.

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  1. Hey everyone,

    There are lots of retailers selling bullet-resistant vests, but I can't seem to find anything for protecting the joints, thighs, shins, forearms, etc.

    I was wondering if it is possible to purchase items that protect these areas?

    If not, why not?

  2. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    I think the yanks trialed them but if you want any from the mod youd be better off going on dragons den!
  3. Do you know why the Yanks gave up on it?

    I had in my mind something like those foam shin/forearm guards that some martial artists wear when sparring. Instead made out of kevlar/ceramic.

    E.g. A Y-top forearm shield with a built in groove for resting a rifle in whilst acting as a mobile gun shield for infantrymen. It doesn't have to be very big, just large enough to put your head behind it while firing.
  4. Can't help with procuring them I'm afraid. As to whether the yanks have got them in full service I don't know, although I have seen phots of what may have been operational trials - so not much use there then either!

    All I'll say is that it isn't as simple as armouring anything that might be hit. As with anything engineering it is a compromise, in this case in mobility vs protection. Static locations can benefit from increased protection but on patrol you may be better off with mobility to protect you. Other factors include heat stress, clearly a major consideration in current theatres - you may be well armoured but are you soon to be combat ineffective or even requiring medevac through heat exhaustion or weight? Ironicaly, your home procured cover-everything amour, in the worst case, could precipitate your death through heat exhaustion if you can not be treated soon enough.

    Protecting against blast and shrapnel to the nth degree accross body and limbs is a great idea... but beyond a certain point this is ineffective as the face is unprotectable in the main and the neck difficult to support; thus you only protect to a level where the head and neck are likely to survive. In a similar vein you may stop a 7.62 with amour on the elbow, yet the energy absorbed by the amour is transfered to the limb within and this may in itself cause sufficient damage to render the armour ineffective. I could give you a helmet proofed to 50 cal, you'd still be dead after being hit in the head just due to the energy absorbed breaking the neck and worse, theres a good chance of the same being true for 7.62 or even lighter. Do not take any of these examples as gospel, they mearly serve to illustrate some of the compromises required.

    Don't let this stop you in your search, I wish you luck; however be aware of the subtle problems. If it is possible to effectivley armour these areas then I know it will be done as soon as possible; it is however a difficult research and design task as well as an understandably emotive subject.

  5. If memory serves, I think the Septics are (or were, at least) experimenting with some sort of liquid that makes cloth go instantly rigid and capable of absorbing the energy of a bullet. I can't remember what it's called, for I only really took a passing interest in it. That's probably why I can't seem to find it on t'internet. That and my usual ineptness, of course.

    Maybe some other ARRSErs know what I mean and can supply more info.

  6. Such a liquid's property is known as "thixotropy", or strain-rate hardening. D3O is an example.

    Don't believe what some people in Marketing tell you about it stopping bullets. Ultimately, thixotropic polymers can't behave any better than a rigid polymer, and even that is a tall order. Kevlar and Dyneema fibres for example are spun to align the molecules to gain a high degree of crystallinity. Something you'd never get in the near-instantaneous solidification of thixotropic polymers. More likely you'll get an amorphous structure, something like you get with a quenched metal's microstructure.

    There are many other factors which makes me think thixotropic polymers won't help *much* in ballistic impact regimes, but I think this should be sufficient to demonstrate the point.
  7. it would be hard to make some one bullet proof! but make some one bullet proof who can walk run shoot etc take a bit more effort!
  8. Its the age old; armour / mobility / weight equation
  9. Please god shut up.

    Body armour is heavy enough as it is. Don't give them anymore ideas and if your not in a position to ever need it (As in Civvy) definately don't.

    At this rate all troops will be dressed like ATO before they've even put their webbing on.
  10. Y'know, nomdeplume, that's just what I was, sort of, thinking. :D :D :D

  11. Slight aside but, there is a bloke making soft armour, a sort of plastic that goes riged when knocked and soft again just as quickly. He makes stuff for extream sports and has branched out in to security.

    I'm sure most of you have used the old Robocop kit for crowd control, and hated it, so this would be a good use for this stuff. It could also be used as knee and elbow pads in field kit. It would never stop a round but it will take the sting out of a brick, or from hitting the deck to hard.
  12. Ah yes, i'll tape w4nk socks to me the next time i go into battle.
  13. Some of the body armour which was flying around on Telic 7/8 was so bulky that heat illness became a huge problem and if you were the wrong shape for it, you simply couldn't do your job. Not to mention the standard MoD problem that too few sets were issued and in the wrong sizes.

    The trouble is that when a piece of life-saving kit, however useless, is introduced, all ranks are under pressure to make its use compulsory to cover their own arrses.
  14. Some german engineers have cracked the genetic code for spider web-no joke,it´s more flexible and stronger than steel, so expect to see it wrapped around squaddies in about 10 years.

    The krauts take so much time developing an idea untill it´s perfect that you don´t need it any more,then they have another idea so the first one doesn´t get finished maybe not!
  15. These badgers had it on their legs, but it didn't stand up to well to acid.