Buzz Kill

The ThorShield fabric backing on this Point Blank ballistic vest carrier effectively shorts out electro-conductive devices to prevent a shock.

Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot

With a name inspired by a lightning bolt-throwing Norse god, ThorShield has a lot to live up to. But Greg Schultz of G2 Consulting, who has a background in lightning arrestor systems, isn't worried. His company's fabric lining has been proven to provide protection from non-lethal energy weapons up to 900,000 volts.

Schultz and business partner Greg Williams (the two "G"s in G2) came up with the idea for ThorShield while watching a television program about the TASER. They decided to pool their knowledge to come up with a product that could help law enforcement and military personnel should their own electro-conductive weapons (ECW) be turned on them. But it also prevents wearers from getting jolts when confronted with other similar devices.

"ThorShield protects against stun guns, ECW cell phones, ECW batons, and even animal control devices such as cattle prods," says Williams.

Amazingly, this powerful material—now standard in higher end carriers from Point Blank and PACA and optional in others—is only the thickness of T-shirt fabric. It's also soft and flexible, resembling the look and feel of a cotton dress shirt.

The important difference is, ThorShield is interwoven with metal fibers that effectively short out any electro-conductive device so it cannot complete the circuit. Which means an electro-conductive device deployed into a ThorShield ballistic vest carrier cannot incapacitate an officer.

This holds true when a single probe is deployed into the carrier and the other probe makes contact with the wearer's leg, for example. The officer might feel some pain from the probe on his leg, but the effect stops there.

"You can mitigate a lightning strike by providing a material that will allow lightning to conduct across a path of least resistance rather than through a building," explains Schultz. "We just took that same knowledge and brought it down to human size in a nice wearable form factor."

ThorShield fabric is sewn to the inside of a ballistic vest carrier's lining, front and back. But being T-shirt thin, it adds no noticeable weight to the garment.

"I know one of the concerns was, 'Gee, do I really need another layer of something in my body armor?'" says Schultz. "But this generation of material weighs about 250 grams per square meter, so you don't even notice it."

Point Blank Solutions, which includes PACA, has the exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute products containing ThorShield. Both Williams and Schultz of G2 are confident in the company's plans for the fabric. "Point Blank has embraced this product, putting forth great effort to support their commitment to officer safety," says Williams. "That fits with our philosophy, and we see nothing but great things for this product. The slogan is, 'Not feeling is believing.'"

In fact, to allow officers to safely handle a subject going through a cycle from an electro-conductive device, PACA and Point Blank plan to debut gloves incorporating ThorShield this fall.

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Melanie Basich 2012 Headshot
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