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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




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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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