Wounding patterns and human performance in knife attacks: optimising the protection provided by knife-resistant body armour

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dc.contributor.author Bleetman, A
dc.contributor.author Watson, Celia H.
dc.contributor.author Horsfall, Ian
dc.contributor.author Champion, Stephen M.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-06T14:17:26Z
dc.date.available 2016-01-06T14:17:26Z
dc.date.issued 2016-01-06
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/9623
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcfm.2003.09.005
dc.description.abstract Stab attacks generate high loads,1 and to defeat them, armour needs to be of a certain thickness and stiffness.2,3 Slash attacks produce much lower loads and armour designed to defeat them can be far lighter and more flexible.Methods and subjects: Phase 1: Human performance in slash attacks: 87 randomly selected students at the Royal Military College of Science were asked to make one slash attack with an instrumented blade on a vertically mounted target. No instructions on how to slash the target were given. The direction, contact forces and velocity of each attack were recorded. Phase 2: Clinical experience with edged weapon attacks: The location and severity of all penetrating injuries in patients attending the Glasgow Royal Infirmary between 1993 and 1996 were charted on anatomical figures.Results Phase 1: Two types of human slash behaviour were evident: a ‘chop and drag’ blow and a ‘sweep motion’ type of attack. ‘Chop and drag’ attacks had higher peak forces and velocities than sweep attacks. Shoulder to waist blows (diagonal) accounted for 82% of attacks, 71% of attackers used a long diagonal slash with an average cut length of 34 cm and 11% used short diagonal attacks with an average cut length of 25 cm. Only 18% of attackers slashed across the body (short horizontal); the average measured cut length of this type was 28 cm. The maximum peak force for the total sample population was 212 N; the maximum velocity was 14.88 m s−1. The 95 percentile force for the total sample population was 181 N and the velocity was 9.89 m s−1. Phase 2: 431 of the 500 patients had been wounded with edged weapons. The average number of wounds sustained by victims in knife assaults was 2.4. The distribution of wounds by frequency and severity are presented.Conclusions Anti-slash protection is required for the arms, neck, shoulders, and thighs. The clinical experience of knife-attack victims provides information on the relative vulnerabilities of different regions of the body. It is anticipated that designing a tunic-type of Police uniform that is inherently stab and slash resistant will eventually replace the current obvious and often bulky extra protective vest. Attempts at making a combined garment will need to be guided by ergonomic considerations and field testing. A similar anatomical regional risk model might also be appropriate in the design of anti-ballistic armour and combined anti-ballistic and knife-resistant armour. en_UK
dc.language.iso en en_UK
dc.title Wounding patterns and human performance in knife attacks: optimising the protection provided by knife-resistant body armour en_UK
dc.type Article en_UK


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