Monthly Archives: February 2020

  • N.I. Teijin Shoji, Inc. is an ambitious company that sells compound textiles of synthetic fibers for women clothing to apparel companies, as well as for interior applications to converters in the United States. The company also offers sheet sets of woven materials for heat-resistant clothing, including bullet resistant materials. In recent time, they have agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve serious accusations under the False Claims Act in connection with the companies’ importation and sale of defective Zylon fiber. This material was used as the key ballistic ingredient in bulletproof vests that were defective.

    The Teijin companies imported the fiber on behalf of the Zylon manufacturer, Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan. The United States alleged that the Teijin companies were aware that the fiber degraded quickly over time and that this degradation rendered bulletproof vests containing their woven Zylon unfit for use. The government further alleged that, despite this knowledge, the Teijin companies did not inform the United States of any degradation concerns or stop selling Zylon fiber for use in ballistic applications.In the year 2002, Teijin purchased Zylon fabric back from a Canadian weaver to whom it had sold the fiber;they would then sell it directly to American body armor manufacturers.For fear of possible liability, the weaver itself had refused to sell the fabric. As part of a larger investigation of the body armor industry’s use of Zylon in body armor, this settlement will keep the whole industry on its toes. The United States has already accrued $59 million plus in settlements with eight other contributors in the Zylon body armor industry. Moreover, the federal government has pending lawsuits against Toyobo Co. and several of the vest manufacturers. As part of current agreements, Teijin will be involved in the government’s impending investigation.

    In the modern bullet proof industry, Kevlar™ is the most prominent material used by law enforcement and military personnel. Kevlar is a material that has been instrumental in bullet proof apparel since the 1960s. It has proven to be the most reliable, and it’s also less expensive to produce than Zylon.

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  • There’s never complete safety for first responders in Asbury Park.  Robert Fahnholz, the president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 384, thinks that bulletproof armor for firefighters should be considered.

    “Everyone has to sit down and discuss the best options for city firefighters. Obviously the best thing is to stop the shooting,” he said.

    City firefighters are growing increasingly worried as the violence continues to serge out of control. It’s not just the lives of fellow firefighters that are at stake, but its harmless patience that are out there as well.

    “They know the drill. It’s nothing new to them. But what could happen is in the back of your mind. It is a concern for them,” said Fahnholz, who was on duty on a day when a shooting call came in to the firehouse. These occurrences have altered the way that the first responders work.

    “Our chief goes out on shooting calls so there is someone to look over their shoulder while they are treating the patient. They’re all professionals. We all know how to treat as quickly as possible and get out of the area. Scoop it up — and run,” he said.

    There are two ambulances that are staffed 24/7, reports Fire Chief Kevin Keddy. There are firefighters with ambulances on each scene to rush any potentially injured civilians. The first responder’s crew got a shooting call a few days ago and arrived on Mattison Avenue shortly after. MONOC paramedics were also on the scene.Typically our protocol restricts us from going into the hot zone until the scene is secure—which means police are there,” Keddy said.

    The fact that these bullet proof vests have to be specially fitted, they will cost as much as $2500. Forty of them are needed, so the price tag for this could get expensive. Keddy wants to make this happen as soon as possible.

    “Obviously we don’t want to put a price on someone’s safety like that. I’d be all for that, especially in the wake of the shootings, because this year it’s been excessive,” he said.

    While 8 of the 17 murders in Monmouth County in 2006 took place in Asbury Park, and 7 of the county's 14 murders in 2007, by 2008 there was only one murder in Asbury Park and five in the whole county. The city's police had added 19 officers since 2003 and expanded its street crime unit. After a spike in gang violence, violent crime had decreased by almost 20% from 2006 to 2008.

    As of August 26, 2019, Asbury Park has had 6 homicides; there have also been 17 people non-fatally injured in shooting incidents.

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  • The research and advancement of body armor protection seems to always keep improving. NASA and NIJ don’t commonly work hand in hand on significant issues, but today marks a new day in body armor technology.

    It seems that some of the same technology that goes into protecting astronauts may soon be helpful in body armor. A spacecraft is designed from materials that are protective against space debris. Kevlar is a main ingredient in this spacecraft makeup, and it’s also the primary element in most body armor. Through use of models that are called ballistic limit curves, developed using a mixture of supercomputer modeling actual experimentation.

    The hybrid system uses experiments to work out the fabric's strength, flexibility and thermal attributes. Supercomputers produce simulations to deal with the physics of impact and yarn fracture as well as providing data on complex interactions such as what happens to the fragments of a projectile after the initial hit.

    "Using a hybrid technique for fabric modeling works well," said Fahrenthold. "When the fabric barrier is hit at very high velocities, as in spacecraft shielding, it's a shock-type impact and the thermal properties are important as well as the mechanical ones."

    The modeling and research is ongoing and Fahrenthold notes that improving the algorithms used to create the curves will have benefits across a range of areas of engineering: "This can provide improved tools for engineering design, and allow simulation-based research to contribute in areas where experiments are very difficult to do or very expensive."

    Thermal control in a spacecraft must be engineered to withstand transit through Earth's atmosphere and the space environment. They must operate in a vacuum with temperatures potentially ranging across hundreds of degrees Celsius. Material requirements are that it’s low density. Materials such as beryllium and reinforced carbon composites are used. Heat control can be a big factor in body armor.

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