Worth it? DIY Radiation Suits & Body Armor

When the economy collapses or a nuclear attack occurs, you don’t expect it to happen, and the population will start to panic. Riots hit the street, people start to ransack stores, stealing everything, and chaos is everywhere. It’s the moment you’ve been prepping for, and now you have to put everything together. Did you remember your body armor or radiation suit?

Body armor or a radiation suit for you and your family is essential. You don’t want any of those you loved being harmed by radiation or those panicking all around you. Panicked people hurt other people; it’s all about survival. Your goal is to survive, and having body armor to protect you assists you in that goal.

DIY Isn’t as Effective as Store-Bought

There is a myth that circulates that DIY body armor or radiations suits are just as effective as store-bought, but that’s just crazy to believe. Purchased body armor or suits are made in a factory using strict manufacturing guidelines and proven to be effective. A DIY body armor can and does work, but you don’t have the proven to be effective part on your side. If you mess up creating the armor, then you and your family aren’t as safe.

You’ll find instructions to make body armor with denim and adhesive, but that won’t stop much. Denim might end up in your wounds if anything. The right materials are the only way to ensure that it can protect you.

On the other hand, radiation suits should not be made at home.

Can You Make a DIY Radiation Suit?

Some people try to make their own personal gamma radiation suit, but it’s challenging and not recommended by The Prepping Guide. It’s almost easier to stop a bullet than radiation! The American Nuclear Society says that a gamma radiation suit needs to be equivalent to either: 13.8 feet of water, 6.6 feet of concrete, or 1.3 feet of lead. Sounds fun to carry around with you, right?

However, if you are interested in adding radiation protection in your prepping essentials, the StemRad 360 Gamma shield fits like a belt with shoulder straps. It offers radiation protection, shielding the organs that are most sensitive to radiation.

The Right Materials for Body Armor

So, what materials are effective in DIY body armor? A combination of ceramic tile, stainless steel, and fiberglass works well, but you can tell that won’t be lightweight. Let’s take a look at why these materials work.

1. Ceramic

Several instructors use ceramic tiles to create body armor. Three-quarter inch thick ceramic plates seem to be effective against rifles, but they have one issue – the weight. They’re not easy to tote around, and you’ll need several to cover your chest.2An option would be to use ¼” thick ceramic floor tiles instead, and then you can place a layer of duct tape over the back and front of the tiles. Not only does the duct tape keep it together, but ceramic tiles do shatter. Duct tape holds all those shards together.

2. Stainless Steel

Many ballistic chest plates are made with unique ballistic steel that is created for that sole purpose. You can use a ¼” thick ballistic steel plate, which is considered effective against light rifle fire. Some preppers have noted that you can shoot a 5.56mm rifle through a ¼” steel plate, but it does lower the velocity of the slug, so it’s trapped.

3. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a unique and exciting material, especially when it comes to ballistics. Multiple layers are used, so the bullet has to pierce each layer individually, even though they’re all bound together by the fiberglass resin. Piercing through multiple layers cause the shell to lose some of its energy. So, that makes it harder for the bullet to go through whatever layer you place next.

Did you know that bulletproof safe rooms are made with fiberglass panels? To create these rooms, manufacturers use 1 ¼” fiberglass, so you know they’re effective.

Putting It Together

The goal of body armor is to protect the most vital organs from harm. So, you want to protect your chest and back. The shield should cover as much of your torso as possible, which is where a bullet can do the most harm.

Here are the general steps to putting together body armor.

1. Plan It Out

You need the measurements to fit your body and the design that you want to use. You’ll need to draw lifesize pieces so you can use them to cut out the plates. It has to fit your body, so plan and adjust several times.

2. Cut the Steel

What cut and type of steel you use are up to you. If you can get your hands on ballistic steel, that’s ideal, but stainless steel can do the job as well. The first step is to cut the steel to size and shape that you want.

An angle grinder is the best choice to cut your steel. You’ll want to make sure none of the edges are sharp. If so, ground those flat to protect yourself.

3. Cut the Tile

Next, cut the ceramic tile to match your designs. It should be an easy step, but be cautious because tiles can shatter.

4. Apply Fiberglass Resin

Decide how many layers of fiberglass you want and bind them together with resin. You should paint each layer with resin separately to be sure that there are air bubbles. I suggest that you lay down saran wrap when completing this step. Then, you can put another layer of wrap on top when completed and apply the pressure to bond the materials together. Resin needs to cure for around three days.

5. Put It Together

Decide which order you want the materials. Ceramic works best in the middle. Some people use fiberglass in the front, a ceramic tile in the middle, and steel on the back. Once you have the order, secure it all together with duct tape.

6. Consider Plastidip

Once the body armor is covered with duct tape, you can consider using Plastidip or a bed liner product. These are spray-on layers that help with waterproofing as well as adding a layer of protection.

7. Test It Out

Last, you need to test it out. Don’t test it out on your body first. That’s just asking for trouble! Take a shot at your DIY body armor and see what it does! Creating DIY body armor at home is going to be a trial and error project, but it can be a fun project to see how many layers create a bullet stopping body plate.

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