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Publication numberUS3562810 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1971
Filing dateDec 9, 1968
Priority dateDec 9, 1968
Publication numberUS 3562810 A, US 3562810A, US-A-3562810, US3562810 A, US3562810A
InventorsDavis Bruce T
Original AssigneeDavis Aircraft Prod Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective material and garments formed therefrom
US 3562810 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,562,810 PROTECTIVE MATERIAL AND GARMENTS FORMED THEREFROM Bruce T. Davis, Centerport, N.Y., assignor to Davis Aircraft Products Company, Inc., Northport, N.Y., a corporation Filed Dec. 9, 1968, Ser. No. 782,218 Int. Cl. F41h 5/08 US. Cl. 2-2.5 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Protective material and more particularly, protective garments, resistive to penetration by flying missiles, such as bullets, shrapnel and the like, are fabricated by securing and tensioning a number of layers of ballistic material together along paths spaced within a predetermined range to compact the layers so as to provide high resistance to penetration and to deflect objects impinging thereagainst while leaving the layers sufficiently resilient to distribute the force of impact over a large area bordering the point of impact.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of application This invention relates to protective materials and garments, and more particularly to material and garments which are resistive to penetration by flying missiles, such as bullets, shrapnel and the like.

(2) Description of prior art A protective garment such as that used as body armor for the modern day soldier, often takes the form of a sturdy material formed into a vest or jacket. The garment has sewn therewithin, or deposited in pockets formed therein, a number of metallic plates disposed to resist penetration by bullets and shrapnel. In addition to being expensive, cumbersome, and heavy, these garments quite often restrict the action which the wearer can take, hamper his agility and so decrease his efficiency that wearing same may be more detrimental than beneficial. In many instances a direct hit by a missile will deform the metal plate so that the metal damages the wearer, at times quite seriously. Such permanent deformation of the metal will also prevent further use of the plate.

Other garments incorporateareas formed of a plurality of layers of material with no metal therein. However, it has been found that these areas if resistant at all, are merely resistant to slow moving, extremely low velocity, missiles, and will not protect the wearer to the extent actually required. In such assemblies, the layers do not work as a whole to resist penetration. It is as if the bullet penetrates each layer individually and this fails because there is not sufficient internal density and thickness to cushion the force of impact. In addition, these garments always incorporate metal panels to protect the wearers vital areas, and as such still possess considerable weight and impair the agility and effectiveness of the wearer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention involves protective material and protective garments, and especially those of the type commonly known as a body armor, wherein the material and garment are adapted to be used by a soldier in combat. It contemplates fabricating the material and garments by securing together a number of layers of ballistic material along substantially parallel lines spaced apart within a predetermined range so that the composite article attains a degree of compactness and rigidity which resists penetration by missiles and tends to deflect objects impacting thereagainst and yet it sufliciently flexible to absorb and dissipate shock and to assume its original shape after impact.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved protective material.

It is a further object to provide an improved protective garment formed from an improved protective material.

A still further object is to provide an improved protective material fabricated by securing a number of layers of ballistic material together along paths spaced a predetermined distance to provide a predetermined amount of resiliency, compactness, and angularity to the exposed surface.

Yet another object is to provide an improved protective garment fabricated by securing a number of layers of ballistic material together in a predetermined manner and along paths within defined limits, so as to render the garment compacted to resist missile penetration while leaving the garment sufficiently resilient to dissipate the shock over a large area.

Yet another object is to provide an improved protective garment fabricated by securing a number of layers of ballistic material together in a predetermined manner and along paths spaced apart within predetermined limits so as to render the garment missile resistant and sufficiently resilient to assume its original shape after missile impact.

Yet another object is to provide an improved protective garment which is sufficiently light to provide a comfortable fit and to permit ease in mobility.

Yet another object is to provide an improved protective garment fabricated by securing a number of layers of ballistic material together so as to flex the layers to cause deflection of objects impacting thereagainst.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention in its details of construction and arrangement of parts, will be seen from the above, from the following description of the preferred embodiment when considered in conjunction with the drawings, and from the appended claims.


FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a garment, in the form of body armor, incorporating the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged section taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and showing same about to be struck by a bullet;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the armor as it is being struck by the bullet;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged section of a portion of FIG. 2 showing details of the lamination and stitching;

FIG. 4A is a schematic showing of the stitching of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a sheet of material from which the armor of FIG. 1 may be formed but showing a different manner of sewing together the plies thereof;

FIG. 6 is an end view of material of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5 and showing details of the stitching passing therethrough.

FIG. 8 illustrates one embodiment of the present invention wherein adjacent layers of the ballistic cloth have weaves which cross; and

FIG. 9 illustrates a second embodiment of the present invention wherein adjacent layers of the ballistic cloth have weaves which are staggered.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT For convenience the invention will be described as applied to a piece of material, fabricated into body armor in the form of a vest, and comprising ten layers of a particular ballistic material sewed along parallel, vertical lines one-quarter inch apart by chain stitching eight stitches to the inch, and backed by a coating of poly (hexamethylene adipamide), which is more commonly known as 66 nylon; it being understood nevertheless that without departing from the scope of this invention that the protec tive material and garment may be fabricated from any type of ballistic material; that the material may be laminated together by means other than sewing; that the protective material so fabricated may be formed into any other garment such as a vest, shirt, jacket, pants, poncho or the like; that it may be used for lining purposes; and that it may be used in sheets for wrapping, paneling, cargo blankets, or otherwise appropriately draped over the article or person to be protected; that the lamination may include as few as two or any number of layers; that it may be accomplished by other forms of stitching or even means other than sewing; that it can include as few as four or as many as fifteen connections to the inch; that the lines of stitching may be disposed horizontally, at angles, in concentric circles, or even in a spiral manner so as to be substantially concentric; and that the lines formed may be spaced at any distance between one-eighth and threequarter inch apart.

With reference to FIG. 1, there is shown generally at 10 a piece of protective apparel in the form of a vest adapted to be worn by a soldier or other person in combat to protect the chest and vital organ area of his body. Vest 10 is formed of a protective material 12 (FIGS. 1 and 2) fabricated by layers 14a, 14b, 14c 14 (FIG. 4) each of the layers being of conventionally available ballistic cloth such as that shown and described in U.S. Pat. 2,816,578 or as described in U.S. military specifications MIL-C-7812C (Mar. 31, 1959), MIL-F43539 (Aug. 23, 1967), or MIL-C-l2369E (July 25, 1968) available through Naval Supply Depot, 5 801 Tabor Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19120, and by this reference incorporated herein.

In fabricating vest 10, layers 14a, 14b, etc., are superposed one upon the other to form a layer assembly 14. A suitable pattern (not shown) is then disposed thereover, and layer assembly 14 is cut to the desired shape in the manner conventionally used in the formation of other types of garments. Layers 14a, 14b, 14c 14j are then secured together such as by chain stitches 20 (FIGS. 4 and 4A) along substantially parallel paths 24 (FIG. 1) spaced approximately one-quarter inch apart. In doing so, the stitch used, in this instance, chain stitch 20, draws the upper layer 14a and lower layer 14j toward each other compressing layers 14b, 14c, 14d 141', 14 disposed therebetween (FIGS. 2 and 4) to provide material 12 with the desired degree of compactness free of voids and air spaces.

Paths 24 (FIG. 1) stitching 20 are disposed with the distance x therebetween substantially one-quarter inch, and along vertically disposed parallel lines. Distance x may be as close as one-eighth of an inch without rendering protective material 12 too brittle to be effective; or as far as three-quarter inch without rendering protective material 12 too flexible to be useful. Stitches 20 are formed approximately eight to the inch, but may be as few as four or as many as fifteen (or more) to the inch.

The distance separating the stitching paths is critical to the present invention. If the distance separating the stitching paths is less than one-eighth inch, layer assembly 14 becomes too brittle and the force of impact of a missile impacting thereon is not distributed to adjacent areas to any substantial extent. If the distance separating the stitching paths is greater than three-quarter inch, then the layer assembly 14 is not sufiiciently compacted to provide high resistance to penetration and to provide substantial deflection of missiles impacting thereagainst.

Stitches 20 have been shown disposed along parallel vertical paths 24, but may just as well have been disposed along parallel horizontal paths, parallel paths dis- 4 posed at any angle, in concentric circles, or in spiral fashion; as long as stitches 20 are in paths which are spaced no less than one-eighth inch or greater than three-quarter inch and as long as each path is continuous so that the layers are compacted over their entire area.

Stitches 20 are of the conventional chain stitch type formed from a single thread 26 (FIG. 4) passing through layers 14a, 14b, etc., beneath bottom layer 14j to form a loop 28 back through layers 14i, 14h, etc., and over the top of layer 14a. The stitching continues in this manner with successive loops 28 chained together in a well-known manner, as shown in FIG. 4A.

To prevent unraveling of stitches 20, a coating 30 of poly(hexamethylene adipamide) (FIGS. 2 and 4) is applied to the exposed surface of layer 14j of material 14. Coating 30 may be formed by spraying, painting, or otherwise coating over loops 28 of stitches 20. Other suitable coatings such as conventionally available rosins may be used as long as unraveling of stitches 20- is prevented thereby.

After garment 10 has been fabricated it can be worn in a comfortable manner since it is sufliciently light to permit normal body movements by a person in combat.

In use, upon being struck by a missile, such as a bullet 40 or the like (FIGS. 2 and 3), layers 14a, 14b, 14c, etc., will be highly resistant with the force of impact against the layers resisted by the highly compact and dense characteristic of the layers. At the same time, the flexing and tensioning of the cloth is such that the force of impact will be distributed over and resisted by a large area of the cloth bordering the point of impact. The shock resulting from the impact will furthermore be transmitted against the entire body of the wearer to dissipate the shock without injury to the wearer. As a missile 40 loses its forward momentum, it will fall off, garment 10 will return to its original shape ready to withstand a second missile in the same spot with no more than possibly layers 14a and 14b thereof damaged. Should a second missile 40 strike in the exact same spot the garment thus formed will constitute considerable protection thereagainst since it will have recovered from the first impact and perform effectively like a new garment.

In FIG. 5 there is shown a form of protective material 50 fabricated from a plurality of layers 52 of ballistic cloth. Layers 52 may be folded over as clearly shown in FIG. 6 so as to form closed edges 54, or may be simply superimposed one upon the other with no closed edge.

As an alternative to chain stitching, the interconnection of layers 52 may be accomplished through the use of lock stitches 56 (FIG. 7) disposed in concentric circles 58a, 58b, 580, etc., (FIG. 5). Since a lock stitch of the type shown in FIG. 7 is used, a nylon or rosin backing need not be applied unless otherwise desired. Lock stitches 56 are formed in a conventional manner from two lengths of thread 60, 62 locked together as at 64 at about the center of material 50.

While not shown, it has been found that missile resistance can be further increased by provision for adjacent layers having weaves which are not aligned but preferable are in a staggered or right angular relation. While the disclosed embodiments disclose the use of chain and lock stitching to secure the layers together, other types of securing means may also be used provided such forms a continuous securing path and provided the layers are compacted to a degree comparable to machine sewing.

From the above description, it will thus be seen that a novel and improved protective material and protective garment has been provided; which material and garment by utilizing a number of layers of ballistic material secured along spaced paths provides effective protection against missile penetration, adequately dissipates missile impact over an area sufficiently large enough to leave the wearer uninjured, retains its original shape after being struck, and is effective, efficient, and lightweight.

It should be understood that although I have shown the preferred form of my invention that various modifications may be made in details thereof without departing from the spirit as comprehended by the following claims:

(6) wherein said paths are disposed in concentric circles. 6. The material as defined by claim 1 wherein: (6) said paths are disposed along substantially parallel I claim:


L A protective material comprising: 5 (7) said material being free of securing means extend- (1) a plurality of layers of ballistic material, mg m a i lnters.ectlng saldParanel Paths (2) said layers of material each being formed of woven mammal clalm wherem the: continuous filament synthetic yarns, ,i qfladlacept layers 9 (3) securin means extending along spaced cone matena of-clalm Wherem g 10 (6) weaves of adjacent layers are staggered. tlnuous paths lnterconnectlng sald layers, 9 The material of claim 1, wherein:

( securing means comprlsmg a Plurahty of (6) said plurality of layers of ballistic material is in tlnuous uninterrupted stitches at least through a subh f of a vest having dimensions to cover pop stantial portion of each path with each stitch intertions of h wearers b d connecting said layers together, 15

(5) said paths being spaced a distance no greater than References Cited three-fourths inch and no less than one-eighth of an UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,423,479 7/1922 DeVoe 112-438X 2. The materlal of clalm 1, wherein: 1 809 733 6/1931 smith 112 420 (6) said plurality of layers include an outer layer, 2:466:597 4/1949 ggg (7) said outer layer being tensioned and flexed by 69 054 12 1 54 Dietz et aL 161 404 said securing means to provide an angled surface 2,773,791 12 1956 Mach/er 2 2 5 to a missile impacting normally to said material so 2,789,076 4/1957 Frieder et al. 161-404X as to tend to deflect said missile from said material. 3,034,194 5/1962 Priester et al. 112-410 3. The material of claim 1, wherein the: 2,816,578 12/1957 Frieder et al 22.5X

(6) said material is being provided with a backing to FOREIGN PATENTS prevent unravellng of sald stitches. 1,113,396 12/1955 France.

4. The material as defined by claim 3, wherein: ('6) the stitches are four to fifteen stitches to an inch. 5. The material as defined by claim 1,

3O JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner Notice of Adverse Decision in Interference In Interference No. 98,239, involving Patent No. 3,562,810, B. T. Davis, PROTECTIVE MATERIAL AND GARMENTS FORMED THERE- FROM, final judgment adverse to the patentee was rendered Aug. 26, 1974, as to claims 1, 2, 6 and 9.

[Oflieial Gazette December 94, 1974.]

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US3902196 *Mar 1, 1974Sep 2, 1975R & R K 9 Professional EquipmeCanine training apparatus
US3958276 *Jul 9, 1975May 25, 1976Clausen Carol WHelmet
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US3988780 *Jun 28, 1971Nov 2, 1976Armellino Richard AFabrication of armored fabric
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U.S. Classification2/2.5
International ClassificationF41H1/00, F41H5/04, F41H1/02, F41H5/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41H5/0485, F41H1/02
European ClassificationF41H1/02, F41H5/04F4