The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum performance requirements and methods of test for the stab resistance of personal body armor intended to protect the torso against slash and stab threats. This standard is based on technical work performed by many organizations: in the United Kingdom by the Police Scientific Development Branch, and in the United States by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its subcontractors.
The scope of the standard is limited to stab resistance only. The standard does not address ballistic threats, as those are covered by NIJ Standard–0101.07, Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor. The standard does not directly address slash threats; however, testing has shown that stab threats are by far the more difficult to defeat, and that body armor capable of defeating stab threats will perform satisfactorily against slash threats.
The threat posed by a knife depends, among other things, on its sharpness, pointedness, style, handle and blade design, attacking angle, the physical condition of the attacker, and the skill of the attacker. Because these parameters can vary widely from one situation to the next, armors that will defeat a standard test blade may not defeat other knife designs under similar conditions or the same knife design if other attacking parameters are changed. The threats treated in this standard are from hand-delivered impacts with sharp-edged and/or pointed instruments whose points or tips lie near the centerline of the clenched fist holding the weapon. Weapons that are not wielded in this fashion, such as axes, hatchets, claw hammers, adzes, and the like, where the threatening edge of the weapon does not lie near the line of action of the fist, are not addressed by this standard. While stab resistant armor could provide some modest level of protection from these threats, the impact velocities, energies, and contact surface characteristics of these weapons are much different, and in most cases more severe, than what was considered in this standard.
Compliance Testing Program
The National Institute of Justice Compliance Testing Program ministers a compliance testing program for stab-resistant body armor to determine a specific model’s compliance with NIJ Standard-0115.00. Manufacturers (i.e., applicants) interested in submitting models of armor for compliance testing should first review NIJ Standard-0115.00 to ensure familiarity with testing, labeling, and workmanship requirements.