Designing new sizing bulletproof vests for Taiwanese soldiers

Chih-Hao Wen (Department of Communications Management, Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Yuh-Chuan Shih (Department of Logistics Management, National Defense University, Taipei, Taiwan)

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 7 October 2020

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021

180

Abstract

Purpose

Combining the collected human body variables by a 3D body scanner and the research results of medical computed tomography (CT) imaging, this research aims to develop a military bulletproof vest that is both protective and fit. In particular, the protective part must be able to cover the vital human internal organs completely. The results of this research help to make military bulletproof vests of different sizes for Taiwanese male and female soldiers. At the same time, the research results can provide a reference for the industry of making special-purpose clothing.

Design/methodology/approach

17 important human body variables of 988 participants (male: 716, 72.5%; female 272, 27.5%) are used for the analysis. The K-means algorithm firstly builds clusters of different body shapes for both sexes; the silhouette coefficient helps to determine the optimal number of clusters to be six. Thus, the standard size of the bulletproof vest for soldiers is determined. The specifications of the bulletproof vest's inner core and textile vest are calculated for each cluster user. Our research then makes twelve prototypes of the bulletproof vest. After that, 12 subjects are invited to try on the new version (the vest designed in this study) and the old version (the vest currently used) to contrast the differences between the two.

Findings

According to the index of the silhouette coefficient, the optimal number of clusters is determined to be six for both male and female clusters. Therefore, this study has designed six sizes of the bulletproof vest for male and female soldiers in Taiwan. After trying the new and old vests on, the subjects all indicate that the new vest fits better than the old one. In addition, the coverage of the bulletproof vest designed in this study is 94.38% for male users and 92.75% for female users.

Originality/value

The design of bulletproof vests must take note of the fit of the clothing itself and its protective function. Apart from the size design of general clothing only focusing on the human shape exteriorly, the bulletproof vest also needs to pay attention to the relative positions of vital organs inside the human body. Besides, for practical applications, it is quite effective to use the silhouette coefficient to determine the results of cluster analysis. Thus, the value of this research lies in the cross-field combination, enabling the integration of body measurement, data science and clothing design. Generally, bulletproof vests of newly designed sizes can meet the requirements of Taiwan's military. The research results can be used in the development of various military clothing for Taiwanese military personnel. At the same time, the results can be provided to the clothing industry as relevant parameters for designing unique functional clothing.

Keywords

Citation

Wen, C.-H. and Shih, Y.-C. (2021), "Designing new sizing bulletproof vests for Taiwanese soldiers", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 321-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCST-09-2019-0150

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited


1. Introduction

Body armor, often known as bulletproof vests, is created to avoid or minimize ballistic injury that penetrates structures in the thorax and abdomen (Breeze et al., 2016a, b). It consists of the material of textile-vest-up and bulletproof soft armor (shown in Plate 1). The area covered by a bulletproof vest is the range in which the body can be protected. However, the unfit bulletproof vest impacts the fit of the clothing and the mobility of the user (Lăzăroaie et al., 2017; Sabol et al., 2014; Toma et al., 2016). The right clothing and equipment are of vital importance to the survival and effectiveness of military personnel (Dāboliņa et al., 2017). The bulletproof vests currently used by Taiwan's military are all designed for men. However, the average body size, weight, fat and muscle composition of men and women are different. To develop a fit bulletproof vest for women becomes a task in itself (Toma et al., 2016). Since while a woman wears an inappropriate bulletproof vest, its excessive weight may increase her risk of falling (Burton, 2018).

Apart from physical appearance, protecting vital internal organs is also an essential task of the bulletproof vest. The recent related research has identified that the structures within the thorax and abdomen must be protected; otherwise, the injured might probably cause death within an hour without decisive medical involvement (Breeze et al., 2016a, b). Therefore, these vital organs (the heart, great vessels, spleen and liver) must be covered by a bulletproof vest. Thus, the bulletproof vest should stretch from just beneath the jugular notch to 2–3 finger widths above a user's duty belt while upholding a standing (Sabol et al., 2014). This length is approximately equal to the length of the center front neck to the waist; that is, the vertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the waistline (TG3D studio, 2018). Hence, accurate body shape measurement methods are essential to classify the body shape effectively; at the same time, it also plays a vital role in confirming the location of vital organs.

In the past two decades, there have been more and more cases to collect data on human body measurement through various 3D scanners. 3D data can more completely present the various sizes of the human body. Therefore, the data obtained by the 3D scanner is more effective and accurate than those from the traditional measurement methods (Lacko et al., 2017). Apart from the fact that anthropometric measurements can still be performed on shape models digitally, a statistical analysis of shape models results in a complete and accurate representation of the local and global shape variation (Baek and Lee, 2012; Luximon et al., 2012). The 3D scan is now more commonly used to conduct detailed anthropometric surveys of military personnel in many countries to obtain more precise and detailed dimensions or measurements of the human body. Countries having used the 3D scan in military uniforms are as follows: Taiwan (Shih et al., 2014), America (Gordon et al., 2014), UK (Breeze et al., 2016a, b; Tyrrell, 2007), Canada (Shu et al., 2015), China (Wang et al., 2018), India (Vaidya et al., 2009), Koren (Lee et al., 2013), Romania (Lăzăroaie et al., 2017; Toma et al., 2016), Latvia (Dāboliņa et al., 2017), etc. These related studies provide a benchmark for comparison of human body measurement data in different countries; some of these studies are also used as reference data for the design of clothing, masks, etc. However, the factors of designing these garments are the length, width and circumference of the body. The location of vital organs inside the body is not considered in these studies.

Due to the differences in body characteristics and body size, some studies have shown that the appearance of the body can be divided into different groups by cluster analysis as the basis for product design (Kuo et al., 2020). The K-means algorithm, which uses Euclidean distance as the calculation basis, is the most commonly used method for anthropometric data analysis (Hamad et al., 2017; Kuo et al., 2020; Lacko et al., 2017; Olds et al., 2013; Stewart et al., 2017). However, the K-means analysis requires a subjective selection of the number of clusters to initialize the algorithm (Chung et al., 2007). Therefore, the silhouette coefficient (SC), which considers both the internal cohesion and external dispersion of the cluster, can more efficiently assist us in finding an optimal number of clusters.

Up to now, many researchers have conducted a series of long-term research on Taiwanese soldiers. The study has focused on the shape of heads (Shih, 2017), male soldier's body shape, female soldier's body shape (Pao, 2013) and feet (Shih and Pao, 2016), etc. The findings have consistently found that compared with the past 20 years (Wang et al., 2002), the body shape of Taiwanese soldiers has changed significantly.

Those researches on the 3D scan and cluster analysis can be summarized as follows: (1) compared to traditional methods, the 3D scan collects data of human body measurements more quickly and accurately; (2) the K-mean algorithm, which uses Euclidean distance for cluster analysis, is suitable for analyzing anthropometric data; (3) SC can help researchers in selecting the optimal number of clusters; (4) the body shape has changed over time; (5) the body shape of different clusters are not scaled proportionally; (6) the past research has confirmed that there are significant differences in the male and female body shape.

This research has the following two main aims. The first aim is to develop new sizes of the bulletproof vest that meets body measurements of Taiwanese male and female soldiers by collecting the information of Taiwanese military personnel via the 3D scan. The second aim is to meet the coverage requirements of vital organs and to minimize the impact on soldiers' mobility when designing bulletproof vests.

2. Method

2.1 Sample

After data collection, the research has obtained institutional authority approval. There are 988 participants (male: 716, 72.5%; female 272, 27.5%) from Taiwanese military and military school cadets. The range of age is 26.02 ± 3.7 y; the range of height is 170.2 ± 7.28 cm; the range of body weight is 64.5 ± 10.3 kg (Mean ± 1SD) and the distributions of age and sexes are shown in Table 1. For the needs of combat missions, young people are the main combat manpower. The distribution of age has been in line with the current situation of Taiwan's military. Besides, all participants have had to meet the BMI standard (18 ≤ BMI ≤ 30) and the annual fitness standards set by Taiwan's military. These standards are also the basic definition of qualified military personnel in Taiwan's military. All participants' information has been evaluated at the Military Human Factors Research Center at National Defense University.

2.2 Experimental design and procedure

The TG3D body scanner v1.4.1 is used for collecting data. With 16 infrared lenses, the 3D body scan completes a full-body scan within 3 seconds. While scanning, male participants are asked to wear a pair of form-fitting shorts, and female participants have to wear close-fitting swimsuits. In addition, to ensure that the differences in the measurements are from differences in body shape rather than differences in posture, the standard scanning posture is a standing posture, which is shown as Plate 2.

After scanning, 100-dimensional measurements are respectively extracted: 25 girths, 51 lengths, six widths, nine heights and nine areas. Technical errors of measurement (T.E.M.s) of ±0.5% are for girths, lengths, widths, heights and areas (TG3D studio, 2018). For the literature mentioned above and the basis of the recommendations from five bulletproof vest makers, the study has selected 17 necessary variables for the analysis (Edwards et al., 2014; Gordon et al., 2014) (shown in Table 2):

  1. Five breadths: neck-shoulder points (NSP) width, cross shoulder width (front), cross shoulder width (back), upper front chest width and upper back width.

  2. Five girths: mid-neck, neck base, chest, underpec and waist.

  3. Seven lengths: left shoulder length, right shoulder length, center front neck to upper front chest, center back neck to upper back, center front neck to chest, center front neck to waist and center back neck to waist.

2.3 Cluster analysis

Amongst cluster analyses, the K-means algorithm is well suited for exploratory data analysis (Kuo et al., 2020; Wen et al., 2018). This study has used the K-means algorithm to generate male and female clusters. K data points are randomly selected as the initial centroid, and then each data point is assigned to the centroid position of the minimum Euclidean distance. Repeating the previous steps until the sum of the squares of the distances of all data points from their centroids become the smallest. In each cluster, the sample with the shortest distance from the cluster center represents the most typical shape in the cluster.

In cluster analysis, the K-means algorithm is very apposite for exploratory data analysis. This study uses the K-means algorithm to generate clusters of males and females. This method needs to randomly select k data points as the initial centroid at the beginning. The Euclidean distance between each data point and each centroid in the vector space is then calculated one by one (as shown in Equation (1)). The Euclidean distance between any two points in the data indicates their straight-line distance in the n-dimensional vector space. After that, each data point is assigned to the centroid position of the smallest Euclidean distance. After recalculating the centroid of each cluster, the previous steps are repeated until the sum of the squares of the distance between all data points and the assigned centroid is the smallest. Where, dist represents the Euclidean distance between the pointpi and qi in the n-dimensional vector space.

(1)dist=i=1n(piqi)2

However, the K-means algorithm needs to specify the number of k in advance as the basis for calculation. The assigned number of k is very sensitive to the result. There are several methods to determine the optimal number of clusters, such as the principal component analysis (PCA), Ward's minimum variance method and the SC. Unlike the former two, the SC considers both cohesion and separation to evaluate the quality after analysis. Cluster cohesion is the sum of the weight of all links within a cluster. Cluster separation is the sum of the weights between nodes in the cluster and nodes outside the cluster. The SC has applications in deciding the number of k in the K-means algorithm, where the number of k is not known. The formula of the SC is shown in Equation (2).

(2)Si=biaiMax(ai,bi)
Where, Si represents the SC of the cluster i. The number of the SC is between 1 and –1, which is a measure to evaluate whether the cluster is reasonable and practical. The closer the number is to 1, the better the quality of the cluster, and vice versa. Where, ai represents the average distance from sample i to all samples in the cluster. ai presents the value of cluster cohesion. The lower the value, the more representative sample i should be classified into the cluster. bi calculates the average distance between sample i and all samples in a specific cluster to find the minimum of all clusters bi. bi presents the value of separation. The higher the value, the less the sample i belongs to other clusters. When Si is close to 1, it means that the grouping of sample i is reasonable. When Si is close to −1, the representative sample i should be classified into other groups.

3. Results

3.1 Descriptive data of Taiwan soldier's anthropometry data

All collected data are stored in Excel. First, the abnormal data are filtered. The criteria of outliers are determined by three standard deviations of the mean distance (plus or minus) of each variable. While establishing clusters, the criteria 3±standard deviation (SD) are used to eliminate outliers. After calculation, this study removes a set of female abnormal data. Table 3 shows the narrative statistics (mean and standard deviation) of anthropometric variables of the male and female. All variables find significant differences between male and female subjects (all p < 0.01). From the variables listed in Table 3, it is shown that the size of male soldiers is larger than the female.

3.2 Number of clustering

Determining the number of clusters is an important issue in cluster analysis. In general, the better result is in three to six clusters (Tan et al., 2019). The optimal number of final clusters for each sex is determined based on the following criteria: first, the interpretation of the cluster should not be too complex and should be based on the mean and data ratio of all variables (Everitt et al., 2011); second, the optimal number of clusters is determined by the SC (Si) (shown as Table 4). By the SC, the number of males and females in cluster 6 in Table 4 is the highest, being 0.388 and 0.356, respectively. Finally, six groups are generated under different sexes. To summarize the above analytic results and indepth discussions with the production plant, this study determines the optimal number of clusters of different sexes as six. The selected 17 variables (excluded height and weight) are undertaken cluster analysis by the K-means algorithm.

3.3 Results of clustering

Next, six clusters of different sexes are established. The selected dimensional data from the clusters are summarized in Table 5. These dimensions are variables that are often used in making bulletproof vests.

3.4 Design of soft armor

Many hard armor plates are created to be used with a specific soft armor panel to achieve the desired level of ballistic protection. This study has focused on the soft armor and the textile-vest-up of the bulletproof vest to make a calculation. An example of the shape of the soft armor is shown in Plate 3. According to the recommendations of relevant literature (Breeze et al., 2016a; Breeze et al., 2016b; Sabol et al., 2014; TG3D studio, 2018), several important size design's parameters of the bulletproof vest are summarized. The descriptions are as follows:

  1. The upper side width of the soft armor (shown as A in Plate 3): the upper side width (A) must be at least greater than the horizontal line distance between neck-shoulder points (NSP), with some adjustments. In the study, the width of A should be greater than the NSP width, with 1–2 inches to avoid oppressing the prominent position of the clavicle. The calculation of A is shown in Equation (3).

(3)Ai=WiNSP+(WiUFCWiNSP)Apu

Where, Ai is the upper side width of the soft armor of the cluster i, WiNSP is the NSP width of the cluster i, WiUFC is the upper front chest width of the cluster i, Apu is the adjustment parameter of the upper side, in which its value is between 0 and 1. After testing, Apu=0.2 is more appropriate.

  • (2)

    The width of the soft armor (shown as B in Plate 3) : the width of the lower side (B) must cover the maximum horizontal distance of the vital organs in the human body, with appropriate adjustments. According to the research of Breeze et al. (2016a) and Breeze et al. (2016b), the results of the computed tomography scan show that the maximum horizontal distance of important organs is approximately the width of the human body, after subtracting 2–3 finger widths*2 (including the left and right sides). The calculation of B is shown in Equation (4).

(4)Bi=WiNSP+(WiUFC-WiNSP)*Bpl

Where, Bi is the lower side width of the soft armor of the cluster i, WiNSP is the NSP width of the cluster i, WiUFC is the lower front chest width of the cluster i,Bpl is the adjustment parameter of the lower side, in which its value is between 0 and 1. Oversized Bpl would be inconvenient for users to move; otherwise, it would cover insufficient area. After testing, Bpl=0.6 is more appropriate.

  • (3)

    The length of the soft armor (shown as C in Figure 1): the length of the soft armor must cover vital organs to exert adequate protection quality. The calculation of C is shown in Equation (5).

(5)CiLiFNW

Where, Ci is the length of the soft armor of the cluster i.Ci must cover vital organs. This length is approximately equal to the length of the center front neck to the waist; that is, the vertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the waistline. LiFNW is the length of the center front neck to the waist of cluster i. Therefore, Ci is roughly equal to LiFNW.

For example, in Table 5, A of the cluster male 1: 12.77 + (33.53–12.77)*0.2 = 17 cm; B of the male 1: 12.77 + (33.53–12.77)*0.6 = 25.2 cm and C of the male 1: length of center front neck to waist = 33.5 cm. The calculation results after rounding for all models are shown in Table 6.

3.5 Design of textile-vest-up

The main function of the textile-vest-up is to cover the soft armor. Therefore, the design of the textile-vest-up has to meet the following three requirements. 1. It has to be greater than the soft armor. 2. It has not to hold the user back from his/her mobility as much as possible. 3. It has to be in the range of tolerance. The example of the shape of the textile-vest-up is shown in Plate 4. The descriptions are as follows:

  1. The width of the textile-vest-up (shown as D in Plate 4): the width of the textile-vest-up must be considered the limitations of the manufacturing equipment. At the same time, it is smaller than the width of the human body so as not to hinder the activities of users. Therefore, the calculation of D is shown in Equation (6).

(6)Di=WiNSP+(WiUFC-WiNSP)Dpw

Where, Di is the upper side width of the textile-vest-up of the cluster i. WiNSP is the NSP width of the cluster i. WiUFC is the upper front chest width of the cluster i. Dpw is the adjustment parameter of the textile-vest-up, in which its value is between 0 and 1. After testing, Dpw=0.8 is more appropriate.

  • (2)

    The length of the textile-vest-up (show as E in Figure 2): the length of the textile-vest-up must be considered the limitations of the manufacturing equipment. At the same time, it is roughly equal to the length of the center front neck to the waist of cluster i, with appropriate adjustments, so as not to hinder the users' activities. Therefore, the calculation of E is shown in Equation (7).

(7)EiLiFNW+Epl

Where, Ei is the length of the soft armor of the cluster i. Ei is necessary to consider the placement of the soft armor and the ability to manufacture equipment. This length is approximately equal to the length of the center front neck to the waist; that is, the vertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the waistline. LiFNW is the length of the center front neck to the waist of cluster i. Therefore, Ei is roughly equal to LiFNW, with the adjusted Epl. After testing, Epl=2.5cm4cm is more appropriate.

For example, in Table 5, D of the male 1: 12.77 + (33.53–12.77)*0.8 = 29.3 cm and E of the male-1: length of center front neck to waist + 2–4 cm ≈ 36 cm. The calculation results for all models are shown in Table 7.

4. Discussion

4.1 Fitness for male

After producing the prototype of the bulletproof vest, the research invites six male subjects to wear the original bulletproof vest and the prototype of the bulletproof vest in X.S., S, M, L, XL and XXL sizes. After trying on, they are verbally asked about the differences. The same model is wearing an old and a newly designed M size bulletproof vest to show the comparison in Plate 3. Plates 3a and 3b are front views of the old and new vest, respectively. It is obvious that the old vest in Plate 3a is too short to cover the waistline. This length will expose the position above the navel. The ideal length of the vest is about the length of the neck to the navel. Therefore, the lower edge of the vest should better be 2–3 fingerwidths above from the waistline (Sabol et al., 2014). Plates 3c and 3d are back views of the old and new vest, respectively. The difference between the two vests is indistinct from the back views. However, the difference can be seen on the shoulder strap of the vests. The shoulder strap width of the old vest has been covered to the collarbone. When users add additional equipment, it will be pressed against users’ collarbone, causing an uncomfortable feeling. In particular, this feeling will become more apparent over time. The newly designed vest has been adjusted to supplement the inadequacy of the old one. The bulletproof vests designed in this study have had a coverage rate of 94.38% for male users.

4.2 Fitness for female

Female users have increased in the military. Taken the Taiwanese army as an example, the number of female soldiers has gradually increased from 4% (Ministry of National Defense, 2002) to 13.6% (Ministry of National Defense, 2017). Therefore, it is increasingly important to concern with the needs of female users on military clothing. The research invites six female subjects to wear the original bulletproof vest and the prototype of the bulletproof vests in X.S., S, M, L, XL, and XXL sizes. After trying on, they are verbally asked about the differences. The difference between an old and a newly designed female bulletproof vest is shown in Plate 4. Plates 4a and 4b are front views of the old and new vest, respectively. And Plates 4c and 4d are back views of the old and new vest, respectively. In Plates 4a and 4c, it shows that the width of the old vest has exceeded the chest width of the female user. That is to say, the oversized vest with too wide chest width will hinder the motion of the arm of the female users. That will lead to a severe limitation in the mission. In addition, the length of the old vest also impacts the mobility of female users. Our newly designed vest has been improved by the requirements and the body shape of female users. Plate 4 shows better protection and fit of new women's bulletproof vest rather than the old one. The bulletproof vests designed in this study have had a coverage rate of 92.75% for the female.

5. Limitations

Our research has had an analysis only based on the collected data. Therefore, the results have been able to cover the body shape of most Taiwanese soldiers. The findings can be fully adapted to all Taiwanese soldiers.

6. Conclusion

The body armor of military personnel should provide a balance of protection and fit of clothing. The novelty of the newly designed bulletproof vest has been taking the clothing sizes of the male and female Taiwanese soldiers into account. Human body variables obtained by the technology of the 3D scanner are undertaken for data analysis. The necessary data have been used to create ergonomic bulletproof vests for both sexes' soldiers in Taiwan. According to the researched parameters, the prototypes of the bulletproof vest of different sizes are produced. Then, 12 subjects are invited to try on the new and old bulletproof vests and perform simple activities to compare the fit of the two. The results have shown that the bulletproof vest with new sizes has met the needs of Taiwanese male and female soldiers. In general, the research findings can provide users with fitter military clothing. The new bulletproof vest can minimize the impact on personnel mobility; meanwhile, the new design can cover the location of vital human organs. Finally, the result of this research has been an ergonomic personal bulletproof device which is suitable for Taiwanese military personnel.

It is not an uncommon application to obtain human body variables through 3D scanner technology for data analysis. However, most of the research and applications focus on the design of the clothing size system for fitting the body shape. Compared with most types of clothing, the design of bulletproof vests is very different. Bulletproof vests for military personnel should strike a balance between protection and fit of clothing. The 3D scanned data can help to design a fit bulletproof vest. However, estimating the relative position of vital organs inside the body is an important basis for designing the scope of the bulletproof vest to protect the body. This study combines 3D scanning and medical-related literature to design a method for calculating the textile-vest-up and the soft armor of the bulletproof vest. Meanwhile, the K-means algorithm and the SC are used to establish the most optimal number of clusters for 998 subjects. The novelty of the newly designed bulletproof vest is to take the size of the clothing of Taiwanese male and female soldiers into account. The necessary information has been used to manufacture ergonomic bulletproof vests for male and female soldiers in Taiwan. We have produced the prototypes of the bulletproof vest with different sizes according to the researched parameters. Finally, 12 subjects are invited to try on the new and old bulletproof vests and perform simple activities to compare the fit of the two. The results have shown that the new bulletproof vest meets the soldiers' needs of both sexes in Taiwan. In particular, the new bulletproof vest can minimize the impact on personnel activities; in the meantime, the new design can clearly prove that it can effectively cover the location of important human organs. Hence, the result of this research is an ergonomic personal antiballistic device suitable for Taiwan military personnel.

Figures

Components of a Taiwanese military bulletproof vest

Plate 1

Components of a Taiwanese military bulletproof vest

Standard posture

Plate 2

Standard posture

Example of the shape of the soft armor

Figure 1

Example of the shape of the soft armor

Example of the textile-vest-up

Figure 2

Example of the textile-vest-up

Comparison between the old and new vest (male)

Plate 3

Comparison between the old and new vest (male)

Comparison between the old and new vest (female)

Plate 4

Comparison between the old and new vest (female)

Demographic information of participants

SexAgeNumbersTotalPercentile %
Male19–2455371272.1
25–3081
31–3639
37–4239
Female19–2421027627.9
25–3046
31–3615
37–425
Total 988988100

Definition of variables

Variable nameTypeDefinition
1. Neck-shoulder points (NSP) widthbreadthsHorizontal line distance between neck-shoulder points
2. Cross shoulder width (front)Horizontal curvature distance from the left-shoulder point to the right-shoulder point on a horizontal line in the front
3. Cross shoulder width (back)Curvature distance from the left shoulder point through the center point 3 cm below the center back neck base point to the right shoulder point in the back
4. Upper front chest widthHorizontal curvature distance across the front chest between two arm pit points
5. Upper back widthHorizontal curvature distance in the back between the arm pit points along the most protruding part of the upper back
6. Mid neck girthsgirthsCircumference around the neck approximately 3 cm above the center back neck
7. Neck base girthsCircumference around the neck base position
8. Chest girthsHorizontal circumference around the fullest part of the chest
9. Underpec girthsHorizontal circumference approximately 5 cm below the chest Line
10. Waist girthsHorizontal circumference around the narrowest part of the torso
11. Left shoulder lengthlengthsCurvature distance from the left neck shoulder point (N.S.P.) to the left shoulder point
12. Right shoulder lengthCurvature distance from the right neck-shoulder point (N.S.P.) to the right shoulder point
13. Center front neck to upper front chestVertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the upper front chest line
14. Center back neck to upper backVertical curvature distance in the back from the center back neck base down to the upper back line
15. Center front neck to chestVertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the chest line
16. Center front neck to waistVertical curvature distance in the front from the center front neck base down to the waistline
17. Center back neck to waistVertical curvature distance in the back from the center back neck base down to the waistline

Taiwan soldiers' anthropometry dimensions between males and females

DimensionMaleFemale
MeanSDP5P95MeanSDP5P95
1. Neck shoulder points width13.360.8812.0014.9012.820.611.9013.90
2. Cross shoulder width (front)44.642.0541.6048.3039.811.6737.2043.00
3. Cross shoulder width (back)45.942.6241.7050.4041.342.0038.1045.30
4. Upper front chest width37.953.6432.5044.8035.223.1830.7041.80
5. Upper back width35.872.3932.4040.4032.461.8829.4035.70
6. Mid-neck girths37.271.9734.3041.0033.851.8931.1037.40
7. Neck-base girths40.592.2437.2044.9037.521.7335.0040.90
8. Chest girths95.197.2284.60110.1088.175.1981.10100.40
9. Underpec girths88.126.9577.90102.0074.934.9468.3086.00
10. Waist girths76.537.5466.0091.5068.815.2961.6080.50
11. Left shoulder length15.351.1413.5017.4013.290.8911.8015.10
12. Right shoulder length15.651.1813.8017.7013.290.8911.7015.00
13. Center front neck to upper front chest13.373.399.4021.6012.973.329.5020.80
14. Center back neck to upper back18.853.5814.6027.5016.563.2512.8023.90
15. Center front neck to chest17.791.8614.8021.2018.351.6915.9021.50
16. Center front neck to waist34.682.5231.0039.8032.392.1928.6036.60
17. Center back neck to waist40.092.3936.7045.2035.781.9332.4039.40

Note(s): *All girth and length dimension in cm

The silhouette coefficient of different cluster numbers and sexes

Number of clustersSilhouette coefficient (Si)
MaleFemale
30.3450.31
40.3390.339
50.350.336
60.388*0.356*
70.3340.334
80.370.337
90.3460.332
100.3350.319

Note(s): *Represents the optimal number of clusters

Selected dimensional data and size of clusters. (Unit: cm)

SexClusterChest girth/Bust girthUnderpec girth/Under-bust girthWaist girthNeck-shoulder points widthUpper front chest widthChest widthCenter front neck to waist
MaleMale-1 (n = 110)85.80 ± 2.5679.03 ± 2.5367.23 ± 2.6812.77 ± 0.7833.53 ± 1.7442.91 ± 1.4034.35 ± 2.13
Male-2 (n = 214)91.15 ± 2.5084.20 ± 2.3772.36 ± 2.6513.12 ± 0.7736.19 ± 1.7743.79 ± 1.6234.58 ± 2.31
Male-3 (n = 114)96.13 ± 2.6989.12 ± 2.6278.84 ± 3.4614.07 ± 0.6937.88 ± 1.9844.84 ± 1.4333.82 ± 2.47
Male-4 (n = 135)97.45 ± 3.3290.37 ± 3.2677.01 ± 3.0613.01 ± 0.5739.73 ± 1.9245.07 ± 1.5535.67 ± 2.38
Male-5 (n = 101)103.77 ± 2.7496.40 ± 2.6285.93 ± 3.7113.86 ± 0.7241.22 ± 1.9546.24 ± 1.7134.58 ± 2.53
Male-6 (n = 38)111.48 ± 3.58103.56 ± 3.3993.35 ± 3.9314.25 ± 0.7945.93 ± 3.0648.10 ± 1.8135.58 ± 3.83
FemaleFemale-1 (n = 69)82.90 ± 2.3170.35 ± 2.7263.92 ± 2.5312.44 ± 0.5733.46 ± 2.3438.19 ± 1.1031.93 ± 1.58
Female-2 (n = 63)86.26 ± 2.1673.22 ± 2.3667.70 ± 2.4713.07 ± 0.5234.31 ± 2.5139.64 ± 1.2231.16 ± 1.74
Female-3 (n = 67)88.13 ± 2.4574.76 ± 2.5367.24 ± 2.4812.68 ± 0.4735.08 ± 2.3940.20 ± 1.1534.44 ± 1.48
Female-4 (n = 54)92.70 ± 2.1778.73 ± 2.7273.67 ± 2.5812.90 ± 0.5637.11 ± 3.0140.48 ± 1.2331.36 ± 2.10
Female-5 (n = 14)98.89 ± 3.8984.29 ± 4.0580.58 ± 2.9313.42 ± 0.4339.54 ± 4.5941.81 ± 1.3132.16 ± 1.33
Female-6 (n = 8)98.43 ± 3.6385.80 ± 3.9878.37 ± 3.3413.53 ± 0.5138.09 ± 3.4443.41 ± 1.0935.81 ± 1.22

Design for the soft armor of the bulletproof vest. (Unit: cm)

MaleClusterMale 1Male 2Male 3Male 4Male 5Male 6
SizesXSSMLXL2XL
A171819181921
B252728293033
C343534363536
FemaleClusterFemale1Female2Female 3Female4Female5Female 6
SizesXSSMLXL2XL
A171717181918
B252626272928
C323134313236

Design for the textile-vest-up of the bulletproof vest. (Unit: cm)

MaleClusterMale-1Male-2Male-3Male-4Male-5Male-6
SizesXSSMLXL2XL
D293233343640
E373837393839
FemaleClusterFemale-1Female-2Female-3Female-4Female-5Female-6
SizesXSSMLXL2XL
D293031323433
E353437343539

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Corresponding author

Chih-Hao Wen can be contacted at: chwen@mail.shu.edu.tw

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