Ballistic Vest Manufacturers Look to Sonobond Ultrasonics for Help Meeting Tough, New NIJ Requirements


First Choice Armor & Equipment is an example of a leading body armor manufacturer that relies on Sonobond equipment.

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania, February 26, 2009-Sonobond Ultrasonics announced today that there continues to be increasing demand for its ultrasonic bonding technology in the production of ballistic vests. Manufacturers are relying on Sonobond equipment to help them comply with the tough, new standards for bullet-resistant body armor set by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). These regulations (NIJ-0101.06) mandate that body armor must be totally waterproof.

Ideal for Ballistic Vest Applications

In commenting on the NIJ standards, Melissa Alleman, Vice President of Sonobond Ultrasonics, said, "We have two units that are ideal for use in manufacturing ballistic vests. These are our SeamMaster(TM) High Profile Ultrasonic Bonder and our SureWeld(TM) 20 plastic bonder. Sonobond technology helps companies construct body armor that reduces the risk that the bullet-proof materials contained in the vests-such as Spectra-Shield® and Kevlar®-will lose their life-saving effectiveness because of exposure to moisture. As a result of the higher standards, it is likely that military and law enforcement personnel will have a greater measure of protection."

Increased Productivity for First Choice Armor

First Choice Armor & Equipment in Spindale, North Carolina, is an example of a leading manufacturer that uses Sonobond equipment in the production of ballistic vests. According to Dale Taylor, Senior Vice President of First Choice Armor's Products Group, the Sonobond SeamMaster(TM) High Profile Ultrasonic Bonder plays a major role in bonding the waterproof membranes to cover ballistic panels. Mr. Taylor reports, "We purchased our first SeamMaster in 2004, after using traditional sewing machines for many years. Since then, we have added more of these Sonobond units. As a result of this change, output of our ballistic panel cover process has improved by approximately 25%. We have also been very pleased by Sonobond's consistently strong technical support and customer service."

The Sonobond SeamMaster(TM) High Profile Ultrasonic Bonder

The Sonobond SeamMaster High Profile Ultrasonic Bonder is especially suited for sealing the outer shell that protects the ballistic-resistant material inside vests. The unit's rotary system seals, sews, and trims nonwoven and synthetic fabrics in one quick, reliable step. It does this without thread, glue, or other consumables. Although similar in appearance to traditional sewing machines, the SeamMaster has a higher clearance between the wheel and the horn. So it works well for hand-guided applications with tight tolerances and for working around curves. The unit is also up to four times faster than traditional sewing machines and is available as a modular unit for integration into assembly lines.

The SureWeld(TM) 20 Ultrasonic Plastic Welder

Another popular unit with body armor manufacturers is the Sonobond SureWeld 20 plastic welder. This machine is frequently used to attach Velcro(TM) to the outer shell of the ballistic vest. The versatile and powerful SureWeld 20 is well suited for bonding large plastic parts or hard-to-weld materials. It can be easily equipped to insert metal fasteners and seal synthetic fabrics. The system consists of a rugged welding press and a heavy duty power supply of 1000 to 3000 watts.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Technology

Sonobond bonders and welders use ultrasonic energy to seam synthetic materials in just one pass. This is accomplished without using consumables such as glue or thread. There is no need for stitching, heat-sealing, or adhesives. Instead, synthetic materials are placed between the ultrasonic unit's horn and anvil. The vibrations are directed into the fabric to create a rapid heat buildup. The heat causes the material's synthetic fibers to melt and fuse, creating a strong molecular bond that is impervious to moisture and that has no stitch holes or glue gaps.

Sonobond: A Leader in Ultrasonic Technology

Sonobond is a worldwide leader in the application of ultrasonic welding and bonding technology. Over its 49 years of operation, Sonobond has earned an outstanding reputation for its pioneering work and quality-engineered products. Today, the company manufactures a complete line of ultrasonic welding and bonding equipment for a wide variety of customers in the filtration, medical, apparel, automotive, appliance, electrical, HVAC, and aerospace industries. Sonobond engineers and sales personnel work closely with customers to find the optimal solution to each company's requirements. Manufacturers in all fields have found they can rely on Sonobond for exceptional technical support and superior service before, during, and after installation.

Additional Information

For more information about the SeamMaster(TM) High Profile Ultrasonic Bonder, the SureWeld(TM) 20 plastic welder, or other Sonobond ultrasonic bonding machinery-as well as the company's free, no-obligation Ultrasonic Bonding
Viability Test-visit the website at SonobondUltrasonic.com or call 800-323-1269. You can also email MAlleman@SonobondUltrasonic.com.

Spectra-Shield®, Kevlar®, and Velcro® are Registered Trademarks of their respective companies.

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