Thai researchers have developed a lighter, more durable and less expensive bullet-proof vest for use by security forces. Asked what is the most important piece of personal safety equipment for the police and military, most people will immediately say the bullet-proof vest. Imported vests, however, are very expensive and must be purchased in large

quantities, putting downward pressure on the balance of trade. At the same time, imported vests are manufactured for a different climate and have a short use-life in Thailand’s heat and humidity.

For these reasons, the National Metal and Materials Technology Center, along with the PTT Company and Mahidol University, has developed a prototype high quality bullet-proof vest utilizing laminated ceramic and HDPE polymer plates. The vests stop 7.62 mm M-16 bullets, Type III as defined by the United States National Institute of Justice, and are lighter-weight than those currently in use. Production costs are 880 USD per vest, less expensive by nearly half than imported vests and have a longer use-life as they are more tolerant of humidity and sunlight.