Improved body armor on the way

Stronger product better absorbs projectiles

By Sarah Hofius

Lightweight, flexible body armor that looks like dragon scales and is more comfortable to wear than today''s bulletproof vests could be available within two years. The armor, designed to stiffen when hit with a high-velocity projectile, also will provide increased ease of movement and more body coverage.

Today''s bulletproof vests are made from strong fibers that absorb the impact of a projectile. For added protection, ceramic plates often are inserted into the vests.

The problem with these vests, says Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, is that they hinder movement by weighing officers down.

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