By Paolo Valpolini
Based in northern Italy, Pro-Systems is specialised in the development and manufacturing of special textile products finished with different chemical treatments for ballistic and stab protection, based onaramid and other high tenacity fibres.
The company started working some time ago to counter one of the most recent threats in the Homeland Security scenario, that coming not only from handgun projectiles but also from knives and spikes. In the past aramid-based fabrics were protecting either from one or from the other threat, a dual-protection vest needing thus to double its thickness and weight to be effective. Pro-Systems was providing both types of fabrics but in the meantime was trying to find a brighter solution to provide a dual-use solution.
“We came up with a monolithic product that provides protection both against projectiles and knives,” Adalberto Montagna, Pro-Systems CEO tells EDR On-Line in his stand at Milipol. “The trick is to fix the fibres in order to avoid the blade penetration, and we have developed a resin that blocks the fabric fibres adding the anti-stab effect to the ballistic protection,” he adds. This not only provides the ballistic vest producer with a single product, but it also makes production easier as it can be easily cut, fibres do not disperse at the edge, and does not need any seam. The product maintains the name PARAX, assigned to antistab products, the PARAX 3000 and PARAX 5000 being the members of the family that feature the dual-role characteristic.
The PARA 3000 has a density of 265 g/m2, a 30 layers vest providing Lev IIIA ballistic protection according to NIJ 0101.06 regulation (357 SIG FMJ FN at 448 m/s or 44 Magnum S JHP at 436 m/s) and KR2/SP2 stab/spike protection according to NIJ 0115.00 (33 J with 7 mm penetration and 50 J with 20 mm penetration); such a protection would have a 7.9 kg/m2 density, a standard size body armour weighing slightly in excess of 1 kg. The top product is the PARAX 5000, which density goes to 200 g/m2. In this case to obtain the previously mentioned protection levels 32 layers are required, however the lower density of the product brings to a weight saving just below 20%, thus the 1 kg target can be easily matched. Both fabrics are provided in 160 cm wide rolls, the final product being highly flexible ensuring maximum comfort. Currently Pro-Systems is proposing to its national customer a 1.2 kg vest solution capable to withstand 9 mm rounds as well as stabs.
Photo Paolo Valpolini