Protonex Technology Corp

Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

The Story Behind Arc’teryx LEAF’s Wolf Urban Grey

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

In this exclusive interview, we spoke with Kavan Cronin, a Color Designer for Arc’teryx LEAF, and the man behind the Wolf Urban Grey color.

SSD: Who are you & what is your role at Arc’teryx?

KC:  My name is Kavan, I am a Colour Designer at Arc’teryx and have been working in this department for 10 years.”

SSD: So you’ll have seen a lot of colours come and go in those years. Tell us why Arc’teryx has a specific Color Design Department, because this isn’t normal in the industry, correct?

KC:  No it’s unusual. It’s a big point of difference for the brand. Our team is dedicated to colouring all of Arc’teryx products including LEAF, and we maintain a strong level of control right down to the minutest details.

Our team is split between colour designers, colour administration and quality control. The colour administrators interface with our material vendors, and control the sending and receiving of lab dips. They also maintain our extensive library of colour standards & lab dips, our sample yardage room, as well as many of the tools the colour designers use regularly.

Every uniquely coloured fabric passes through the hands of our colour quality control specialist. They are in charge of measuring all lab dips and sample yardage cuttings and maintenance of the measurement database. They helps to identifying trends in how colours are shifting from standards during the lab dipping process, and how different materials absorb dye. The designers work closely with them to make informed decisions.

As colour designers, we are behind the actual colouring of the products. We work closely with our product designers to capture their vision and intentions while we’re going through our colour palette development process, to ensure we are aligned with a strong story to convey. We also incorporate the expertise of our product line managers to make sure end use needs of each product are met, and that the message behind each collection is cohesive and impactful.

Our approach to inspiration, and how it is distilled and translated into a colour palette has continued to evolve over the years. Recently we’ve been looking at global trends and macro trends that we find inspiring or impactful, reviewing them as a group, and selecting the ones we feel are the strongest inspirational stories for each season. They can be rooted in anything from nature, technology to graffiti art!”

SSD: How does the department work with the LEAF line, not too many color differentials there!

KC:  You be surprised. LEAF may seem on the surface to have a very obvious colour palate, but there is a story behind each of them!  LEAF colour needs are very specific, they are typically defined by ongoing communication between the LEAF development team and our established network of end users and their requirements.

Wolf has an interesting background. The brief that I was originally given, touched on external studies stating that that a dark neutral grey was more likely to blend easily into its background under low light conditions than black. The idea was to use this knowledge to identify the ideal grey to be applied to a new uniform program for specialized LE teams. However, as these uniforms were not always going to be used in the dark, we didn’t want the uniforms to be too dark of a grey. They needed to blend into the urban environment under differing light conditions. Taking all of this into consideration, I spent some time doing personal exploration around the city (Vancouver) observing the various shades of grey as seen from roads, buildings, cement barriers, etc. As well as reviewing countless images from other major cities across the world. I was able to narrow down to 4 shades, which we reviewed as a group to zero in on the best option. This was the birth of (Urban) Wolf. Wolf then became widely adopted in the industry, it was an exciting colour evolution to be a part of. ”

SSD: Croc is another colour synonymous with the LEAF line – but what is the history behind this colour way?

KC: Crocodile was born of a time when camo patterns were the norm, but no one pattern would fit the global market. Multicam barely existed and there was much discussion around its use vs. the traditional US ARMY UCP. Not to mention, due to the fact that all camo patterns are licenced, and require third party printing, material cost was much higher than if a solid colour was used. Picking a solid colour for our LEAF apparel was the best option, the caveat being it had to be universally adaptable.

Crocodile was based off the Canadian military’s version of OD Green, which had just been phased out in favour of CADPAT. OD Green was a very adaptable colour, but was a little bit too green. The colour standard selected for Crocodile had a bit more brown in it, and it was better suited to woodland and mixed environments. Ranger Green did exist at the time, but was deemed too black.

There were discussions about changing to another colour over the years, but what colour..? The market was fragmented on what they wanted/needed, and Crocodile just kept getting the job done. Due to its adaptability, Crocodile grew and became the staple in the Arc’teryx LEAF line. Despite the introduction of Wolf, and then Ranger Green, Crocodile continues to be “the” colour synonymous with Arc’teryx LEAF.

SSD:  Do you see any future color changes in the market?

KC: 2018 we introduced Harrier Grey in our new Cold Weather SVX Parka & Bibs. Intended for extreme cold weather use, people have asked us why we didn’t make them in white. Simple answer, white doesn’t stay white for long! Harrier Grey is a perfect gery to be under over whites, and allows our end users more versatility of environmental usage than just white would.

To learn more about Kavan and what he does, check out this profile video, part of Arc’teryx’s “Who We Are” video series.

ORSM 18 – K6 Men’s Arx Rain Jacket by Beyond

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

The K6 Arc Rain Jacket is part of Beyond’s ever expanding foreign sourced line which offers new materials and construction features at a great price.

It is manufactured from a proprietary 3-layer waterproof/breathable fabric called Lustra which features Cordura fibers in the face fabric for added strength and abrasion resistance.

It’s fully seam taped, incorporating zippered pockets at the left chest, right bicep and at the waist. The two-way zippered side opening vent snaps at the bottom for security. All zippers terminate in garages. Additionally, the adjustable cuff tabs are made from Hypalon.

The Arx will be available very soon and offered in Black, Grey, Putty and Navy.

Warrior East 18 – LBT 6094 QRC

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

LBT displayed their new Quick Reaction Clip variant of the venerable 6094 Armor carrier at Warrior East.

The TK Buckle at the shoulders facilitated a quick cutaway and can be actuated by the pull of a lanyard or via push-button on the Buckle itself.

In addition to the buckle, the 6094 QRC features laser cut PALS and LBTex, their new laminate material.

Warrior East 18 – Belleville Boots Introduce Vibram’s Arctic Grip Anti-Slip Technology

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Belleville Boots is the first company to integrate a Berry Compliant version of Vibram’s Arctic Grip Wet Ice Tech.

Initially introduced the commercial market at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market a few years ago, the sole offers stability on ice as well as oily surfaces. The active components are a slightly darker brown in the photo below. The first boot with this sole will be the C775ST, a Cold Weather, safety toed boot with 600 grams of Thinsulate.

Coming 4th Qtr 2018 from

DuPont Launches New Lightweight Helmet Innovation at Eurostary

Monday, June 11th, 2018

DuPont Safety & Construction will launch a new lightweight innovation for tactical helmets, DuPont™ Tensylon® HA120, at Eurosatory, June 11-15, 2018.

“DuPont™ Tensylon® HA120 is a new material for helmets that provides maximum ballistic protection at a lighter weight than traditional helmets, taking some of the load off the men and women on the front lines,” said John Richard, vice president and general manager, DuPont™ Kevlar® and Nomex®.

“Tensylon® HA120 enables helmets to be up to 40 percent lighter than traditional helmets allowing military and law enforcement members worldwide to stay safer and move faster with improved mobility.”

Designed with optimum ballistic properties and impact resistance, Tensylon® HA120 ensures maximum protection and lightweight durability for high performance helmet applications. Optimizing the performance of traditional Tensylon® solid state extruded ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) film technology, allows manufacturers to make lightweight ballistic helmets with superior protection from bullet penetration and low back face deflection (BFD), in a single-step processing cycle. To improve mold release, bonding to paint and abrasion resistance, a Tensylon® HA120 core can be co-molded with outer skins of woven fabrics made with Kevlar® fiber.

“Innovation is a continuous process at DuPont,” Richard said. “We’re constantly looking for new solutions that are stronger, lighter and more comfortable for the men and women protecting us. They deserve the best protection, so they can stay focused on the high-risk job of safeguarding their communities and their countries.”

The new Tensylon® HA120 material and other DuPont ballistics solutions will be featured at the DuPont Safety & Construction booth located in Hall 6, Stand J251 at Eurosatory 2018 at Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte in Paris. Customers and the media also are invited to attend a DuPont Safety & Construction reception at the Le Chalet des lles restaurant, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. CEST.

Natick Displays New Lightweight Helmet At Pentagon’s Close Combat Lethality Tech Day

Thursday, June 7th, 2018

The Close Combat Lethality Task Force recently held a Tech Day at the Pentagon. A wide variety of equipment was on hand. U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center researchers displayed a next generation helmet called the ACH Gen II: UHMWPE.

US Army photo by C. Todd Lopez

Essentially, it’s based on the second generation Army Combat Helmet, except that they’ve improved how the ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) used in the helmet is processed during molding. The ACH Gen II already offered a 22% weight reduction over the original ACH but can only stand up to 9mm and Frag threats.

The ACH Gen II: UHMWPE weighs 2.5 pounds for the shell, and an estimated 3.5 pounds final weight, but provides the same level of protection as the Integrated Head Protection System, which has just begun fielding. However, it does so without having to add a ballistic appliqué for rifle rounds like IHPS. Consider that an IHPS weighs about 5 lbs with the appliqué fitted. For a rifle threat-level Helmet, that’s a significant improvement.

Natick continues to develop Helmet technologies with a goal of offering rifle level protection in the weight of current Frag protection (ACH).

US Army Seeks Novel Materials/Components/Designs for an Improved Hot Weather Army Combat Boot

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Although the US Army has made great strides in working with industry to offer a new Jungle Boot, they aren’t resting on their laurels. In fact, they’re already looking to improve the design. In late May, the the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center released a request for information to industry for Novel Materials/Components/Designs for an Improved Hot Weather Army Combat Boot.


The primary goal of this RFI is to identify footwear vendors capable of manufacturing prototypes. Responses are also requested from footwear component manufacturers whose product may provide one or more of their requested capabilities. Interest is specifically in responses defining component materials, constructions, and/or footwear designs that are optimized for use in a hot weather environment (where temperatures range from 50 to 120°F), with a special interest in materials/designs that reduce footwear weight and increasing comfort.

The linked pdf describes the types of prototypes they are seeking.

Interested parties should visit

Blade Show 18 – Terrain 365

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Terrain 365 is a collaboration between TAD and PDW founder Patrick Ma Partnered and ABS Master Smith Michael Vagnino, who’ve known one other for about 20 years. Naturally, Terrain 365 concentrates on knives, which is a passion for both of them.

In addition to offering some great designs, Patrick wanted to bring back a non-ferrous material for knives which retains the edge,

is non-ferrous meaning it won’t rust and is non-magnetic. What he had in mind was a revival of cast Cobalt and Carbide. Their alloy is called Terravantium. They don’t roll the material, which crushes the cobalt. Their process retains Dendritic properties of the material.

Initially, Terrain 365 will release four models.

Element Alpha HD


The HD is for heavy duty. No Rice the thick backstrap.

Element Bravo HD


PDW Invictus AT


The AT is for all terrain. This version of the Invictus is made from Ti and Terravantium, making it 100% non-magnetic.

Nautilus HD


This Dive Knife is available with Orange or Black handles which feature an Epoxy for solid grip when wet.

In addition to these initial designs, bar stock is available for other makers.