NIJ Testing Program – What And Why

Are you trying to acquire information on NIJ testing? NIJ administers a program, which helps to test commercially available armors. The tests check whether the armors meet the set standards and if the vests will perform as per the quality expected. It is important to notice that apart from being tested for NIJ compliance, these body armors need to meet the labeling and workmanship requirements.

NIJ testing and certification has a follow-up investigation where the testing requirements are checked for, and their quality is inspected too, i.e., if the body armors meet the safety and reliability requirements. Here’s a great article about NIJ certification and its importance. Every body armor manufacturer which matches the standard is then exposed to six follow-up inspections. The testing goes on for five years and consists of:

  •       Investigation of latest manufactured vests to check if they are built in the same way as the original samples
  •       There is a follow-up of ballistic testing.

The compliance testing program is managed by the NIJ’s Criminal Justice Testing & Evaluation Consortium. The NIJ gives out standards for all types of body armor that are accepted nationally. These standards ensure that the body armor provides the protection they are designed to provide against specific ballistic threats.

It is crucial to understand that the NIJ certification procedure is not simple and basic. It is a complex process where rigorous testing is done for all the body armors. Fifty samples and over have to go through several extensive tests under conditions that are closely matched with the kind of situations wearers can face in real life.

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Submersion test

Soft body vests are made of tightly woven fibers that must be kept intact firmly for the armor to be able to stop the bullets effectively. For this very reason. The armors are enclosed in a waterproof membrane, which protects from any moisture. The vest is also exposed to high temperatures for long periods of time to make sure the fibers do not separate as the temperature rises.

Tumble Test

Once the heat tests are done, the vest is then placed into a tumbler for about 11 days in order to stimulate six years of usage and wear. Six years is a key figure because that is the amount of time the warranty lasts for on every NIJ-certified armor. If the body vest passes the tumble test and is still able to withstand bullets, then the body armor has the capability to last five years and will still be able to provide protection.

Ballistic Tests

All of the above does not matter if the armor is not good enough to stop bullets. Therefore, one of the most important tests is the ballistic test. In this, the armors are subjected to the bullets that are expected to be fired at the person. Soft body vests tend to offerLevel II and IIIA protection to the wearer.

During the NIJ’s testing, seven shots of separate calibers are fired at the armors to gauge their effectiveness.NIJ certification and testing is a complex, hands-on process for assessing and ensuring the high quality of the armors.

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