Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania researchers together with Kyiv National University of Technologies and Design, Ukraine are developing new generation knitted bulletproof vests that provide a good balance between protection and comfort.
According to Rimvydas Milašius, a professor at the KTU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Design, comfortable, user-friendly textile products that are resistant to mechanical damage and fire are of great importance to defence technology.
“Such textile products should not only ensure adequate protection from hazardous threats to health and life but also provide maximum comfort without reducing the safety”, says Prof Milašius
Textile products should be comfortable to wear and do not restrict freedom of movement. They should also have excellent ventilation, i.e. to be air and sweat permeable in order to release excess heat to the outside while keeping the inner layer dry.
Research shows that increased comfort reduces fatigue of the wearer and helps to maintain focus and concentration for longer.
“This is particularly important for people who perform life-threatening duties, as fatigue can result in the lack of focus and lead to fatal errors”, says Prof Milašius.
Multi-layered textile application with layers of knit construction made from high-strength yarns allows increased energy absorption when a high-speed bullet, shrapnel or other missile hits it.
“Knitted fabrics provide this feature due to their loop structure, which is the main difference of our technology from the woven fabrics currently used for similar purposes. The usage of knitted structures in protective applications have only become possible with the recent advances in knitting technology”, says Prof Milašius.
Due to the war in Ukraine, the country is paying great attention to modernising the defence structure including the development of new products. Lithuania is interested in not only in providing scientific assistance in order to improve the safety of Ukrainian military forces, but also in future cooperation.
The researchers believe that the technology developed by the team from the two countries will be produced not only by Ukrainian but also Lithuanian textile companies.