H.P. White Laboratory Inc. (Baltimore, Md., USA), the world’s largest independent test laboratory for body armor, reported on March 9 that it has contracted to work with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to conduct comparative ballistics resistance testing on new and used law enforcement body armor for the research study: Physical and Environmental Effects on the Performance of Body Armor.
The study is funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and is designed to identify materials that stand up to a range of real-world physical and environmental stresses and maintain intended levels of protection over the life of body armor.
“HP White is honored to work with PERF and support the NIJ in its mission of advancing body armor design and the protection of law enforcement personnel,” said Mike Parker, president of HP White. “This is critically important work that will give law enforcement empirical data on body armor performance over the life of the protective equipment.”
The 18-month study will integrate data collected in a two-phase process. In phase one, PERF will conduct a survey to evaluate how body armor is used, maintained and stored over time. In phase II, used soft body armor samples (and usage histories) will be collected from officers in 30 agencies across a range of US climates. Through a series of abbreviated tests based on the NIJ 0101.06 standard, HP White will then conduct comparative evaluations to match the ballistics properties of used body armor samples against an equivalent control group of new body armor samples.
These comparative data will identify the variables, with each used body armor sample, which contribute to armor failure. HP White was the first NIJ certified ballistic laboratory, and has been actively involved in NIJ testing and standards development processes since the program’s inception. Today, as a NVLAP accredited laboratory, HP White performs certification testing to specific NIJ body armor-performance standards through Certified Test Programs administered by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC).