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Old 08-16-2006, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 18,476
Those Bomb Squad protection Suits, Are They Effective?

You've seen them-the guy trying to disarm a bomb wears a protective suit with a large helmet. my question: if a bomb were to go off, would such a suit actually save his life? I can see how the armor would protect against shrapnet, but the blast itself-how would a padded suit mitigate it?
Old 08-16-2006, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Israel
Posts: 476
That would depend on the size of the bomb. Large enough bombs will leave no chance. But the odds of survival will increase.

From wiki:
Preferably, this will be accomplished remotely, but there are still circumstances when a robot won't do, and a Technician must put themself at risk by personally going near the bomb. The Technician will don a specialized suit, using flame and fragmentation-resistant material similar to bulletproof vests. Some suits have advanced features such as internal cooling, amplified hearing, and communications back to the control area. This suit is designed to increase the odds of survival for the Technician should the munition or IED function while they are near it.
Bolding mine.
Old 08-16-2006, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 39
It all depends on how big the bomb is. But complete suit - with strapped-on helmet, ventilation unit, gloves and all that extras is quite effective protection and it's quite possible to survive explosion of, say, hand grenade, with that ringing sound in the ears and minor injuries only. A two or three pounds of TNT on the other hand is not leaving much chance.

Also note, that bomb squads mopstly deal with small pipe bombs, unexploded ordnance and other small deals - car bombs capable of levelling buildings are very rare. Plus, EOD guys usually don't disarm bombs (as in Hollywood "cut red wire" cliche) - they get close to IED only to place equipment (like x-ray or disruptor), and when possible deal from afar. And these protective suits are very useful when you are thirty paces afar and suddenly there is KABOOOOM and shockwave and all that debris flying... Well, you get the picture. It's still dangerous job, but your chances of survival are much better with this suit on.

On preview, I see that there is one answer already, but since I already typed all this... oh, well.
Old 08-16-2006, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Streatham Common
Posts: 2,893
I've normally seen them referred to as EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) suits in the context of the Northern Ireland situation. No cite, but they are generally quite effective at mitigating damage from the types of small devices already mentioned. However since the technicians need to have their hands free to manipulate the internals of the bomb, they tend to suffer severe hand injuries.

You can see the sort of thing they use nowadays here in a sales catalogue.
Old 08-16-2006, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 39
Yep. I didn't mention it in my post, but slaphead got it straightened - these suits comes with protective gloves, but EOD technicians usually don't wear them - they are to thick to do anything more precise than barely hold and carry something.

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