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US Army Seeks Flame Resistant and Non-Melting, Next-to-Skin Fabrics

Yesterday, the Army Contracting Command issued a Request for Information (RFI) / Market Survey on behalf of Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM-SCIE) and the US Army Natick Research, Development and Engineering Command, (NSRDEC) in Natick, MA for Flame Resistant and Non-Melting, Next-to-Skin Fabrics.

In particular, the wish “to identify domestic products, suppliers and manufacturers as potential sources of knitted fabrics suitable for use in three next-to-skin garment types. These garment categories include:
A. Base layer underwear
B. Base layer underwear capable of maintaining a snug fit when soft ballistic protection is added.
C. Flame resistant shirts capable of maintaining fit and positioning of integrated ballistic protection.
1. Sleeve and side panel fabric (must have capability to be printed in IR compliant camouflage patterns)
2. Torso fabric”

In addition to basic information on any company that submits, the Government also needs:
-A fact sheet or white paper, detailing properties of the submitted fabrics, technical parameters, manufacturing location, relevant company background/experience and documented test/analysis information that would indicate performance properties against the required physical properties listed above.
-Five yards of each submitted fabric.
-Pricing for each submitted fabric in dollars per linear yard.

The RFI goes on to state that, “the Government may purchase up to 100 yards from one or more respondents for prototype development. ”

Most important, companies must review this document for salient performance characteristics.

Perspective companies have until November 29th, 2013 to respond. Full details are at the FBO posting.

As always, I will remind SSD readers that this is NOT a solicitation but rather a means to gather information from industry on the current state of the art. I encourage participation as these exercises influence future requirements.

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11 Responses to “US Army Seeks Flame Resistant and Non-Melting, Next-to-Skin Fabrics”

  1. Chad720 says:

    Can the Army get some flight suit love? This A2CU is horrible and should hopefully get looked at along with this FR clothing test.

  2. Charlie Taylor says:

    “C. Flame resistant shirts capable of maintaining fit and positioning of integrated ballistic protection.”

    So wait, are they asking about the posibility of integrating ballistic protection into the shirts themselves or compatibility of the shirts wih current ballistic protection? If it’s the latter then the sentence is worded kinda poorly.

  3. hodge175 says:

    No more mock turtlenecks please big army

  4. Jody C says:

    If I’m not mistaken, don’t the Marines already have an FR undershirt and underwear for use with their FROG uniforms? Why can’t the Army just adopt those in OCP instead of trying to reinvent the wheel a half dozen times?!

    • SSD says:

      Palm to face….the Army has equipment already as well. What they are doing is looking for newer and better materials than the ones they’ve already used.

  5. Medic! says:

    Merino?

  6. David says:

    Merino is very warm though so it may not be the best thing for general wear under armour.

    • Henrik says:

      You can make merino wool how cool or warm you’d like. Depending on the knit etc. You can make polyester and nylon warm or cool as well.

      My favorite under armor material is however real pure silk. Preferably in a ribbed knit

  7. Henrik says:

    only problem with merino is that it is not that durable. but seeing how poorly Massifs etc FR fabrics perform when it comes to durability, merino is just as good if not better. I own several Massif combat shirts and they are not durable imo.