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Posted: 8/8/2002 8:10:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2002 7:51:18 PM EDT by Pretzelboy]
If you have Spectra fabric in your body armor, be advised it may fail if it has been exposed to high temperatures. Basically, the type of material Spectra is supposedly made of loses its ballistic properties at about 180 degrees. It never regains them. Possible problems with Zylon too. I urge you to visit this link and seek answers from your vest manufacturer... [url][/url] EDITED to make active link and to say thanks for the tack!
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 6:16:16 AM EDT
A very informative and disturbing conversation. I have a Level III laminated Spectra plate. It is light as heck and I really was happy with it until a few minutes ago. I certainly hope that it is still good to go. I am also glad (for once) that my bosses can be hard-headed and insisted on going with older Kevlar designs for our tactical armor, even though newer, lighter stuff is out there. This has all of the makings of a serious disaster for body armor in general, if it is true. I know from experience that even very old, very abused Kevlar vests will still stop lots of pistol ammo, even stuff they are not rated for. We periodically shoot up old vests, and only rarely get a penetration, even on the lower end Level II stuff. I hope my Level III plate is still good...
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 7:44:45 AM EDT
How hot can it get in a closed up automobile??????
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 8:43:27 AM EDT
How hot? I don't know, depends on where you live. I used to have a Casio watch with a thermometer. Once, while directing heavy traffic in August on freshly-laid asphalt, it measured 130F. I was under the impression, given last summer's numerous reports and media coverage of children left in cars, that an auto interior could easily reach 150F or greater. I had a nice Kydex sheath, which I had made at home in my oven, which absolutely "melted" and lost its form in my car. Granted, it was in direct sunlight for 1 hour, but the working temp for Kydex, IIRC, is about 325F. At least that's what I had my oven set at when I formed it. I am trying to answer the how hot question now. I have been trying to contact William Bass, at the University of Tennessee. If you aren't familiar with his area of expertise, he runs UT's "Body Farm." He basically has several acres of decomposing bodies which are used to further forensic science. Among the experiments he has conducted is the decomposition rate of bodies in car trunks. I assume he has a fair knowledge of max temps in car interiors, as it would be highly relevant to his studies. I will say that I think a car trunk can get HOT. No air circulation, all metal, no insulation, above the exhaust pipes, over the hot asphalt for hours, and, in my case, painted black. And this is where most guys store their vests, especially the entry vests the Tac Team uses. Regardless, the points made about contact gunshots and melting temps are enough to have me looking for a new vest. I am 99% certain my vest has never reached a failure temp, but how can I or you be sure? I hope to clarify this matter with my vest maker, PACA, who is about an hour's drive away. So far, they are not replying to my Emails... Be careful.
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 11:10:55 AM EDT
Please contact your vest manufacturer about this. If anyone else has a report of this please post here. Also, once you have contacted your vest manufacturer please post what they say. thanks medcop
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 11:27:29 AM EDT
[url] [/url]
Link Posted: 8/9/2002 8:30:35 PM EDT
I will be making calls and requesting letters from the manufacturers of our plates on Monday. I'll let you know what I hear. I have budgeted for several more Level III plates for the fall; at 3.5 pounds, they seemed almost too good to be true. I certainly hope that is not the case.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 7:01:46 AM EDT
One thing I don't get is what are the vests doing in the car trunks. I used to work in Texas and have directed traffic for long periods of time in Texas heat (my record is 14 hours with SHORT breaks every 4 hours in 110 to 114 degree (ambient) heat on a black asphalt four way with no shade). It's horrid and the vest gets cleaned and carrier washed (and scraped free of salt build-up) but I haven't worked a day without it on. One fact that's true, it doesn't get to be 180 degrees when worn on your body. You would die first. When someone can tell me when I get to choose when I get shot, then I'll be choosey about when I wear my vest. Until then, I'm wearing it. Large entry vests I can understand but not concealable. Still, the information IS important and will be passed on to the guys at my dept who leave theirs in the trunk. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/13/2002 9:36:32 AM EDT
True, but... My tactical armor, with the Level III laminated Spectra hard plate, does ride in the trunk (or in the tool box on my truck, now that I don't drive a marked car anymore). And my patrol vest rides under the seat in my truck, because I don't usually wear a uniform anymore. Luckily, its Kevlar so I have no worries about it, but it is up for replacement this year.
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