A bomb suit, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) suit or a blast suit is a heavy suit of body armor designed to withstand the pressure generated by a bomb and any fragments the bomb may produce. It is usually worn by trained personnel attempting bomb disposal. In contrast to ballistic body armors, which usually focus on protecting the torso and head, a bomb suit must protect all parts of the body, since the dangers posed by a bomb's explosion affect the entire body.
Parts of the bomb suit overlap for maximum protection. The suit protects in several different ways. It deflects or stops projectiles that may come from an exploded device. It also stops or greatly decreases the pressure of the blast wave being transmitted to the person inside of the suit. Most bomb suits, such as the Advanced Bomb Suit use layers of Kevlar, foam, and plastic to accomplish these functions.
In order to maximize protection, bomb suits come with a pair of interchangeable gloves and wrist guard attachments. This gives the wearer's hands mobility and protection needed for the task; as well as avoiding cross contamination of any evidence found (fingerprints).
EOD technicians wear bomb suits during reconnaissance, 'render safe' or disruption procedures on potential or confirmed explosive threats. Such suits must provide a tremendous degree of protection from fragmentation, blast overpressure, thermal and tertiary effects should the threat device detonate. At the same time the suit can significantly hinder their mobility or situational awareness.
The materials needed to make bomb suits protective do not release body heat generated by the wearer. The result can be heat stress, which can lead to illness and disorientation, reducing the wearer’s ability to accomplish the task. The most recent models of bomb suits include battery-operated cooling systems to prevent heat stress. One manufacturer’s study claims that the internal cooling systems on 39 lbs and 81 lbs bomb suits helped the wearer stay at workable temperatures for up to an hour, even in a hot environment.