W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., - A proposed new ASTM International standard will provide a consistent way of comparing the relative weights of different body armor designs used in the production of protective vests for law enforcement and correction personnel. The proposed new standard, ASTM WK31929, Test Method for Areal Density Measurement of an Armour Panel, is being developed by Subcommittee D13.19 on Industrial Fibers and Metallic Reinforcements, part of ASTM International Committee D13 on Textiles. According to Amanda Forster and Mike Riley, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the classic way of producing soft body armor is by stitching together layers of fabrics or laminates based on multi-plied, unidirectionally oriented fibers. However, designs have gotten more complex as advancing technology has provided a greater understanding of the interaction of projectiles with vests. "The use of multiple materials, understanding the interaction at the edge versus the middle of the vest, shaping for female vests, special needs for trauma inserts and many other design advancements have led to non-uniform vest designs that make it difficult to understand the actual areal weight of the vest," says Riley. Once approved, the proposed new standard will allow manufacturers to accurately document their armor designs and give purchasing agents and end users a better understanding of the relative weights of designs when they are making purchasing decisions. Participation in the activities of D13.19 is encouraged. Dawn Caullwine, quality manager, DuPont Cooper River Kevlar®, and D13 chairman, notes the initial purpose of D13.19 was to develop test methods for materials used to reinforce mechanical rubber goods, including tires. While the focus of the subcommittee has shifted somewhat toward the type of high performance fibers that are used in ASTM WK31929, the subcommittee does still include mechanical rubber goods end uses, so that participation from tire and belt manufacturers, as well as bead wire and man-made fibers, is still strongly encouraged. ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit www.astm.org/JOIN.
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. ASTM Committee D13 Next Meeting: Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2012, January Committee Week, Atlanta, Ga.
Technical Contact: Dawn Caullwine, DuPont Cooper River Kevlar®, Moncks Corner, S.C., Phone: 843-797-9928; firstname.lastname@example.org