ArmourTest Ltd provides a ground-breaking solution to the assessment and maintenance of personal body armour.
A newly formed synergy of Advanced Defence Materials Ltd and NDT Consultants Ltd, ArmourTest has unequalled expertise in the fields of advanced armour systems and non-destructive testing. This knowledge base enables us to deliver a range of technologies, specialist equipment and services dedicated to the in-service care and logistics tracking of personal armour equipment.
The evolution of modern operations has made ceramic faced body armour plates an essential aspect of operational clothing. During the service life of body armour it is subjected to the myriad rigours of any theatre of operation. With this in mind plates are designed with a pre-set safety margin in the form of a multi-hit requirement that allow the armour to suffer a degree of â€œwear and tearâ€? before the ballistic performance drops below the specified level. But at what point does this expected â€œwear and tearâ€? become a danger to the integrity of the structure and therefore the safety of the user? And far more importantly, how would you know?
It is increasingly the case that personal body armour is used as a personal issue item which will subsequently be rotated through a base depot, making it likely that previously used items are issued to new wearers. There is a clear duty of care to the individual concerned that the armour on which they depend is in good condition and fit for their requirement. Indeed, with the rigours of operational duty regular inspection to ensure continued protection provide â€¦.
Modern plates are sophisticated assemblies of advanced ceramic and composite layers. The ceramic element is completely embedded within the plate and it is almost impossible to understand the overall integrity and condition of the ceramic by visual or tactile examination of the assembly.
As plate technology has developed, increasing difficulty has been encountered in ascertaining reliable and accurate measures of integrity in ceramic body armour between and after uses; techniques such as film x-ray and airscan ultrasonic inspection have been applied with varying degrees of success. ArmourTest Ltd has now developed a number of strategies for the reliable periodic examination of ceramic body armour and continues to broaden its catalogue of capabilities, encompassing other items of personal armour with continued innovative research.