US 3130414 A
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April 28, 1964 T. L. BAILEY ETAL FLEXIBLE ARMORED BODY GARMENT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 223,k 1962 HMM 5M Theo ddii@ [1. ley BY Edu/cz fdl?. afro/1 ATTQRNEY April 28, 1964 i T. l.. BAILEY ETAL 3,130,414
' -FLEXIBLE ARMORED BODY GARMENT Filed DGO. 28, 1952 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY April 28, 1964 T. l.. BAILEY ETAL 3,130,414
FLEXIBLE ARMORED BODY GARMENT Filed Dec. 28, 1962 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS Theodore Zaey v[277m: rd Barron ATTORNEY United `States Patent LO 3,130,414 FLEXIBLE ARMORED BODY GARMENT Theodore L. Bailey, Natick, and Edward R. Barron,
Framingham, Mass., assignors to the United States of America asirepresented by the Secretary of the Army Filed Dec. 28, 1962, Ser. No. 248,161
Y Claims. (Cl. 2--2.5)
" (Granted under Title 3S, U.S. Code (1952),l sec. 266) The invention described herein, if patented, may be manufactured and used by or for the Government for governmental purposes, without the payment to us of any royalty thereon. Y This invention relates to an armored body garment, and more'particularly to a jacket or vest composed of plural layers of nylon or other high tenacity textile material, and small overlapping armor plates of titanium alloy or other metal alloy having a ballistic penetrating resistance of not less than that of steel plates of the same weight. Our garment has a special shoulder construction for added flexibility. Y
Such a composite body armor is especially constructed for use in combat, so as to afford maximum liexibility and ease of movement to the wearer, without excessive weight and' without sacrificing ballistic protection of Vital body areas above the hips. A special shoulder construction enables the combat soldier to assume any tiring position required by the exigencies of the tactical combat situation, including firing from the prone position. While armored garments heretoforeV developed by the Armed Forces for combat personnel have provided adequate vide ballistic protection to the torso that is at least the equal of the all-nylon armored vest heretofore'developed by the Army, and at the same time affords greater flexibility through the combination of its torso section, with a special hinged shoulder construction 'especially adapted for prone ring.
Thus, an armored body garment in accordance with our invention differs from the presently standardized nylon armored vest by having a much smaller number of super-` posed nylon layers than the l2 to 15 layers of the present nylon vest; this small number`(preferably about four) of nylon layers is combined with lightweight overlapping small armor plates to provideY maximum ballistic protection and' ilexibility. The articulated shoulder construction, likewise composed of plural layers of ballistic nylon 3,130,414 Patented Apr, 28, 1964 ICC ability that the combat soldier will not discard it during a tiring march, and will actually wear it in a situation where he is likely to be exposed to enemy lire.
The accompanying drawings illustrate a preferred embodiment of our invention, but should not be deemed to limit the scope of our invention to any particular dimensions, proportions or similar details shown therein.
FIGURE 1 of the drawing is a front elevation of lan armored vest in accordance with our invention;
FIGURE 2 is a rear elevational view of the embodiment of FIGURE 1; i
FIGURE 3 is a partly exploded view of the armored vest of FIGURES 1 and 2, unfastened and viewed frontally, and showing an exterior View of the front and back portions, partly broken away; .Y
FIGURE 4 is another front elevational view of the embodiment of FIGURE 1, without the top fabric layer, so as to expose the arrangement of the metallic armored plates;
FIGURE 5 is another rear elevational View corresponding to FIGURE 2, without the top fabric layer, so as to expose the arrangement of the metallic armored plates;
FIGURE 6 is a detailed side view showing'the articulating hinged shoulder construction of the armored vest of FIGURES l and 2; i p Y FIGURE 7 is a detailed top plan view of the shoulder armor assembly of FIGURE 6, without Vthe top fabric layer, so as to expose'the arrangement of the' metallic armored plates;
FIGURE 8 is a diagrammatic bottom plan view, face down, of a complete armor assembly (without fabric covers) of the armored vest of FIGURES land 2;
FIGURE 9 is a longitudinal section through a. front panel along lines 9 9 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE l0 is a longitudinal section through a back panel along lines 1tl10 of FIGURE 2; Y Y,
FIGURE 11' is a cross-section through` a front panel along lines 11-11 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 12 is across-section through aback panel along lines 12-12 of FIGURE 2; and y y FIGURE 13 is a perspective View 'of a soldier in the prone tiring position,` while wearing an armored `vest in accordance with the present invention.
More particularly, the armored garment in accordance with the present invention includes an outer cover 10 and and small overlapping titanium armor plates, protects the'body surface of the wearer that is exposedA to vdirec-t enemy re even while the wearer is in the prone tiring position, and enables him to execute the complex moveyments of loading, firing and reloading his weaponfwithout being hampered by the body armor and without losing the ballistic protection afforded by it.
Alsoythe armored body garment of the present invention is so^constructed that if one armored section thereof should become damaged as the result of enemy tire, the damaged section can be replaced by the insertion of another prefabricated section in areld repair shop without an inner cover 29. (as seen, e.g., in FIGURE 3); and an armor assembly substantially in the conguration of .an inverted V (as outlined diagrammatically in FIGURE S), wherein the strokes constitute, respectively, the back portion A and the left-hand and right-hand front portions B and C. At the junctures between back portion A and front portions B and C are deep shoulder cutouts Dand E, for a purpose about to be explained in greater detail, and leaving two narrow junctures in the form of overshoulder panels F and G between part A and parts'V B and C, respectively. Both outer cover 1'0 and inner cover 2li are made of tightly woven high tenacity elongatably nylon fabric, known in the trade as ballistic nylon fabric; otherv strong and elongatable plastic textile materials, such as strong ne regenerated cellulose fiber of the Fortisan or .Dural type are permissible though presently less preferred substitutes. .Atypical nylon fabric is lightweight duck cloth, having thefollowing characteristics:
Weave, plain, two ends woven as one,'twov picks woven as one, weight l3-l4.5 oz. per square yard; Y
Yarn, 210 denier, high tenacity nylon, 34 filament; Warp, minimum 46 ends, in the loom, composed of 5 i plied threads;
Filling, minimum 32 picks off the loom composed of 5 plied threads;
Breaking strength, minimum 1,000 lbs. in warp and 900 lbs. in filling (grab method);
As 'seen in FIGURE 1, the front portion of the garment is composed of a left-hand portion 11 (as viewed from the standpoint of the observer) and a right-hand portion 12, corresponding, respectively, to parts B and C of the diagrammatic pattern of FIGURE 8. They meet in a fly front, which is fastened by separable fastener means 13, 13', such as a nylon hook and pile fastener of the type shown in Patent No. 2,717,437, De Mestral. For ease of adjustment, the portion 13 is preferably mounted on a ap 14, seamed to panel 12. If desired, other separable fastening means, such as large male and female snap fasteners (not shown) may be employed in addition to or as substitutes for the illustrated hook and pile fastener.
Back portion 15 (corresponding to part A) is laced along its sides to the left-hand front panel 11 and to the right-hand front panel 12 by elastic laces 16. To avoid undesirable multiple perforations of the nylon cloth of the front and back portion, it is desirable to equip them with small eyeletted tabs 17 for laces 16. This arrangement facilitates size adjustability. However, it is also possible to join the back panel to the front panel by conventional side seams, although this arrangement is presently less preferred because it does not permit size adjustment.
Inner layer 20 is constructed in the same manner as outer layer 10, except that it does not carry the iiy front fastening means and side fastening means of the outer layer. It is connected to outer layer 10 by seamed edge bindings 21, as shown, e.g., in FIGURE 3.
As is well understood by those skilled in the art, the two ballistic plies provided by the just-described outer and inner layer provide some protection against a lowvelocity nearly spent projectile, but are insufficient to protect the wearer against wounds from shell fragments, ricocheting bullets, and similar battlefield perils. It is therefore necessary to provide armored inserts between outer layer 10 and inner layer 20, which are of a special construction about to be described in greater detail. Generally, these inserts are composed of one, or preferably two (as shown in detailed FIGURES 11 and 12), plies of ballistic textile material (nylon or other suitable high-tenacity textile materials, generally of the same type used for the outer layer 10 and inner layer 20). This single or (preferably) double layer 30 of ballistic textile material carries a number of small metal plates 40, preferably of titanium alloy, in mutually overlapping relationship, so as to provide the desired high degree of ballistic penetration resistance in combination with the supplemental resistance of the inner and outer ballistic fabric layers of the garment. Thus, in the preferred embodiment of our invention, the wearer has the combined protection of four layers of ballistic fabric layers (outer layer 10, inner layer 20 and two-ply ballistic textile insert 30) and metal plates 40. This combined protection is sufficient to ward olf small shell fragments and most small arms tire (other than rifle bullets fired at point blank range or machine gun bullets of comparable momentum).
Metal plates 40 are preferably of titanium alloy. A commercially produced ternary titanium alloy containing about 5% aluminum and 2.5% tin, has been found suitable to produce thin armor plates (e.g., of .O3-.04 thickness). We prefer that the individual plates have a slight curvature as shown in FIGURE 12; however, this feature is not indispensable for the ballistic performance of our armored garment. Other highly penetration resistant alloys having ballistic properties not less favorable than those of steel plate of the same weight may be substituted for the titanium alloy; for instance, a high strength manganese steel alloy known in the trade as Hadfeld Steel may be used in lieu of the titanium alloy, but such a substitution is less preferred because of the superior ballistic qualities (penetration resistance to weight ratio) of titanium alloy. The outline of the plates is generally quadrangular.
In order to provide all-around ballistic protection, it is of course necessary that there be no gaps between vertically or horizontally adjacent metallic armor plates, a principle well known to armorers since classical times. We have constructed the armored garment in such a way that the front fastener 13, 13' permits the metallic armor plates nearest the fly front of either left or right-hand front panel to overlap each other, as is shown perspectively in FIGURE 1 and diagrammatically in FIGURE 4.
As is shown in FIGURE 3, each front panel 11, 12 is provided with multiple (preferably three) tiers of vertically overlapping inserts 50, 51, 52, each tier being cornposed of several overlapping horizontal and vertical rows of metal armor plates 40 (the majority having preferably a dimension of about 3 x 3). As shown in FIGURE 4, each metal plate 40 is stapled to the nylon textile layer of the insert by means of a lateral staple 41 and top staple 42, so as to overlap, respectively, the adjacent lower and laterally adjacent metal plate. Each successive lower tier of the insert is hinged to the corresponding higher tier by a hinge strip 60, so arranged that the metal plates of the lowermost horizontal plate row of the higher tier overlap the highest horizontal plate row of the next lower tier. This arrangement is illustrated in detail in FIGURE 9, which shows hinge stripsr 60, connecting the backs of nylon fabric layers of tiers 50 and 51, and hinge strips 61, connecting the backs of nylon fabric layers of tiers 51 and 52. The hinge strips are of elongated strong thin textile material, e.g., 3 oz. nylon oxford cloth, and do not of themselves possess ballistic penetration resistance.
The back panel inserts are constructed in a manner analogous to the front panels. Thus, the armored inserts of the back panels are composed of a lower tier 76 which is hinged by a hinge strip 80, to upper left-hand and righthand tiers 71, 72, as shown in detail in FIGURE 10 and perspectively in FIGURE 5. Upper tiers 71 and 72 are joined to each other by a vertical hinge strip 81, which joins the inner edge of the inner ply of tier 71 tothe proximate inner edge of the inner ply of tier 72 so as to overlap the respect armor plates, as shown in FIGURE 5. Horizontal hinge strip 82, join tiers 71, 72 to the topmost tiers 85, 86 of the upper front panels F, G, which extend over the shoulder of the wearer, as shown at FIGURE 8, and are in joined overlapping relationship to each other by vertical hinge strip 83 below the nape of the neck. Metallic armor plates 40 are also carried in the back portions of the body armor inserts, preferably by means of a staple attachment 41, 42 corresponding to that of the front panels.
The staples 41, 42 which hold metallic plates 40 to their respective textile inserts preferably pass through the ballistic fabric insert and through predrilled holes at the top and one side of each metal plate and are clenched (see FIGURE 12).
The over-shoulder panels F, G which extend to the shoulder blade region of the back are each provided with a deep cut-out (D, E) in the collarbone region and do not carry armor plates in the collarbone region, because the shoulder is protected by a pair of special articulated armor shoulder plates of generally lunar shape, about to be described in greater detail, and illustrated in FIGURES 6 and 7.
One such shoulder plate 90 is composed of an outer cover 91 and inner cover 92 of nylon or other hightenacity penetration resistant textile material of the same type as covers 10 and 20. Between covers 91 and 92, there is provided an insert 93 of at least one and preferably two plies of the same ballistic textile material as the body inserts (preferably nylon), and carrying a number, preferably about six, of overlapping titanium alloy or other high strength metallic armor plates 94 stapled thereto by staples 41', 42 in articulated mutually overlapping relationship, as shown in FIGURE 7, Shoulder plate 90 is seamed at 95 to the inner edge of over-shoulder panel F, as shown in FIGURE 6, so as to provide a hinge. Theouter edge of shoulder plate 90 is yieldingly connected to over-shoulderV front panel F by elastic straps 100,100 which extend respectively from the outer front and rear corners of the shoulder plate, pass through apertures 101, 101 in outer cover 10 of the garment, and are anchored to tiers 50, 86 of the armored insert panel F. Thus, shoulder plate 90 bridges the shoulder cut-out D and provides armor protection to the shoulder region of the wearer, regardless of the relative position of his arms to the torso.
The other shoulder plate 90 is constructed, and connected in the same manner as shoulder plate 90.
An upstanding collar is provided for added neck protection, preferably a 9%: collar generally resembling a clerical collar, but open in front and back to avoid chaling. This collar consists of left and right lunar collar pieces 110, 110', each consisting of about six to ten layers of ballistic nylon or other high-tenacity textile material in an outer envelope which is joined to the neck seams of outer cover 10 and inner cover 20, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 3.
The ballistic protection alforded by this armored garment is at least equal to that of the presently standardized all-nylon armored vest covered by United States Patents Nos. 2,640,987, Ehlers, and 2,773,791, Maclver (both assigned to the Government of the United States as represented by the Secretary of the Army), but constitutes a marked improvement thereover by reason of its greater exibility and special shoulder construction which enables the combat soldier to assume the basic tiring position in the prone.
Field repair of our armored vest, when damaged by the impact of a projectile, is easily eiected by removing edge binding 21 from the damaged section, removing the damaged armored insert and replacing it with a new 0r reconditioned one from stock, repairing the damaged portion of outer cover 10 (and of inner cover 20 is needed), and finally replacing edge binding 21. If the shoulder plate 90 or 90 needs replacement because of impact damage, it is removed by severing hinge seam 95 and detaching elastic cords 100, 100', and replacing the old plate with a new or reconditioned plate from stock.
The exibility of our armored vest is not only useful in the prone firing position, but also in other situations that necessitate raising one or both arms above the shoulder; e.g., in controlling the parachute shroud lines during a descent by parachute in an airborne assault.
While changes in the arrangement, proportions, dimensions and shape of the armored garment and component parts thereof, disclosed in this specification will readily occur to the expert without departing from the spirit of our invention, it is our desire to encompass such variations within the scope of such invention.
1. A flexible armored body garment composed of plural layers of woven high tenacity elongatable plastic textile material and small metal plates having ballistic penetration resistance not less than that of steel plates of the same weight; said armored body garment comprising:
(a) an outer cover of said textile material in the shape of said garment and having a pair of deep cut-outs in the shoulder region;
an inner cover of said textile material in the shape of said garment and having a pair of deep cutouts in the shoulder region; articulated front and back assemblies of hinged inserts affixed to one of said covers, each of said inserts comprising at least one layer of said textile material and a plurality of said metal plates carried by said last-mentioned layer in overlapping relationship; and (b) a pair of articulated armored shoulder plates 6 bridging said cut-outs, each of said shoulder plates being hinged to one of said covers along the closed ends of said cut-outs and yieldingly connected to the body portion of said garment along the open ends Yof said cut-outs, and each of said shoulder plates comprising at least one layer of said textile material and a plurality of said small metal plates hingedly l affixed thereto in overlapping relationship; whereby said armored body garment is rendered so highly flexible as to enable the wearer to shoot a irearm from the prone position unhampered, with his torso protected by said garment.
2. A ilexible armored body garment according to claim l, wherein said metal plates are titanium alloy.
3. A iiexible armored body garment according to claim 1, wherein said woven high tenacity textile material is nylon.
4. A flexible armored body garment according to claim l, said garment having a ily front, and wherein said front assemblies are a plurality of hinged overlapping tiers of inserts on either side of said fly front, and wherein said back assembly is a plurality of hinged overlapping tiers of inserts; said y front having releasable closure means for holding said front assemblies in overlapping relationship.
5. A exible armored body garment according to claim 4, wherein said tiers of said back assembly are overlapping left and right pairs, and wherein an additional lowermost` tier is hinged to a said left and right pair of tiers in overlapping relation therewith.
6. A flexible armored body garment composed of plural layers of woven nylon textile material and small titanium alloy metal plates having high ballistic penetration resistance; rsaid armored body garment having a ily front, and comprising:
(a) an outer cover of said textile material in the shape of said garment and having a pair of deep cut-outs in the shoulder region;
an inner cover of said textile material in the shape of said garment and having a pair of deep cutouts in the shoulder region;
a pair of front assemblies to either side of said y front and a back assembly of articulated inserts atlixed to one of said covers, each of said inserts comprising a double layer of said nylon textile material and a plurality of said metal plates hingedly aiixed to said last-mentioned layer in overlapping relationship;
(b) a pair of articulated armored shoulder plates bridging said cut-outs, each of said shoulder plates being hinged to one of said covers, along the closed ends of said cut-outs and yieldingly connected to the body portion of said garment along the open ends of said cut-outs, and each of said shoulder plates comprising a double layer of said nylon textile material and a plurality of said small metal plates hingedly axed thereto in overlapping relationship; and
(c) releasable closure means for said fly front for holding said pair of front assemblies in overlapping relationship;
whereby said armored body garment is rendered so highly flexible as to enable the wearer to shoot a rearm from the prone position unhampered, with his torso protected by said garment.
7. A iiexible armored body garment according to claim l, wherein said metal plates are quadrangular and are stapled to said textile material along the top edge and a side edge of said plates.
8. A flexible armored body garment according to claim 6, wherein said metal plates are quadrangular and are stapled to said textile material along the top edge and a side edge of said plates.
9. Flexible armored body garment according to claim '8 References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS `1,269,930 yHawley June 18, 1918 2,640,987 Ehlers June 9, 1953 2,954,563 De Grazia Oct. 4, 1960 OTHER REFERENCES Washington Post, page A-14, Ian. 4, 1962, (copy of article available in Group 440).
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No.,i 3, 130,414 I April 2e i964 Theodore L. Bailey et aL he above numbered pat- It is hereby certified, that error appears in t Patent should read as ent requiring correction and that the said Lette'rs corrected below.v
Column 3, after line 4 add the following paragraph:
Elongation of finished cloth,I minimum 25% in warp and 20% in filling Signed and sealed this 15th day of September l964 (-SEL') Altest:
EDWARD J. BRENNER ERNEST W. SWIDER Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents UNITED STATES PATENT OEEICE CERTIFICATE 0F CORRECTION Patent Noa 3,130,414 April ZBY l94 Theodore Li Bailey et al It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 3, after line 4V add the following paragraph:
hed clothq Elongation oi finis in fillinge minimum 25% in warp and 2O Signed and sealed this 15th day of September 1964.,
EDWARD J. BRENNER ERNEST W. SWIDER- Attesting Officer Commissionerv of Patents