Zoombang®, LLC, a leading supplier of body protection materials, has announced the release of its next level ZB-7 Ballistic Insert Pads for use in law enforcement and military operations. Made of a proprietary material, the ZB-7 Pads are designed to protect against trauma when used in combination with an existing ballistic vest.
During the summer of 2014, three Florida law enforcement agencies participated in field studies to test the efficacy of the ZB-7 supplemental ballistic pad. One of the officers who participated in the testing was Jeff Bruckner of the Sebastian PD, who has been with the department for five years. As a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq, he acknowledges the effectiveness of ballistic vests in the field. However, his biggest concern has always been the secondary injury from back face deformation, a term used to describe the effect of a non-penetrating projectile on the rear face of a strike plate or soft armor. Even though the bullet is stopped, the energy is transferred from the bullet through the vest and into the body.
A back-face signature injury occurs when the body armor retains the round, but does not effectively dissipate the energy efficiently, causing a narrow section of the armor to deform backward into the body, causing injury. The key attribute in the Zoombang® proprietary polymer is the way it responds to this energy. When force or energy is applied to it, the molecular structure changes and it behaves as a solid, then immediately reverts to its soft and conformable state the moment the energy is dispersed.
The Palm Bay test, conducted at the department’s firing range, consisted of covering a block of ballistic clay with Level IIIA soft body armor and firing at it with both 40 S&W and 9mm FMJ and hollow point ammunition. The testing was performed in accordance with the specs of the National Institute of Justice’s NIJ 0101.04 Standard, which establishes minimum performance requirements and test methods for the ballistic resistance of body armor.
The vest was shot at without any pads inserted, then with one ZB-7 pad inserted, and then a double layer ZB-7 pads. When the vest was removed, the officers measured the impressions made in the clay by the ammunition. Using 9mm ball ammunition, the depths ranged from 24.34mm with no pad to 8.95mm with one pad to 0.96mm with the double, resulting in a -96% impact. Depth ranges from the 40 S&W ammunition were 28.36mm with no pad, 9.03mm with one pad, and 3.92mm with two pads for a -84% impact.
Zoombang’s President and CEO Joseph Scott said that prior to acquiring the company in 2013, we knew that the best opportunity for accelerated growth was going to be on the police/military side, as the protective qualities of their polymer exceed even the most violent sports. “The field testing substantiated our assumptions,” Scott continued, “I understand the gravity in promoting unprecedented results, particularly in this arena, where lives are literally on the line, so I felt it was vital to prove my confidence in the ZB-7 pad, in an undeniable fashion.” In April 2015 Mr. Scott did just that, while visiting a client in Bogota, Colombia, the CEO put on a bullet proof jacket, slid in a Zoombang ZB-7 pad and stepped in front of a .38 caliber. At pointblank range Mr. Scott took a bullet, without a flinch, proving not only that his product works but that he truly stands behind it. “The video of me getting shot has garnered thousands of views on YouTube and has significantly increased awareness, in fact we have since seen our first police departments in the USA outfitting their entire teams.”
“Not often does a product surface in this line of work that has the potential to be a standard issued piece of equipment in all Law Enforcement agencies. The ZB-7 Ballistic Panel is one of those rare products. It has become, and will continue to be, standard issue in my Police Department”. – Chief of Police Michael A. McDonald – Springfield Twp. Police Dept – Bucks County, Pennsylvania
“Currently our market distribution is 67% Sports, 30% Police/Military, 2% Industrial, and 1 % medical,” stated Scott. “Throughout 2015 and into 2016, we will see a significant shift that includes steady growth on the sports side and aggressive growth in the Police/Military segment.” He expects the market distribution profile to be 45% Sports, 45% Police/Military, and 10% other (industrial, medical, and entry in to new markets as well) by the 2nd quarter of 2016.
Feedback from the officers involved in the field testing and current clients was unanimously positive. Sebastian PD, Buckingham PD, Springfield PD have are the newest departments in the USA who have purchased the ZB-7 Ballistic Insert Pads for their entire departments.