TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

See The Newest Gore ePTFE Fiber Enhanced Fabrics at SOFIC

Friday, May 12th, 2017

At next week’s Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Florida, WL Gore & Associates, Inc will exhibit uniforms made from the latest versions of fabrics enhanced with their ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) fiber technology. We first introduced you to the technology during SOFIC 2015.

As reminder, these are the performance enhancements, thanks to the inclusion of ePTFE.
-Low wet pick-up for faster dry time
-Faster dry time with moisture absorption
-High mechanical durability (break & tear strength)
-High strength to weight ratio (weight reduction)
-Low coefficient of friction offers low, wet cling and improved hand
-Tunable with other fiber blends inherent characteristics, like FR

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Sounds like a wonder material, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder why they haven’t just made shirts and pants out of pure ePTFE right? Sure, they could make an entire garment from the fiber, but they haven’t gone that far yet. Incremental improvement is always easier to accept, so rather than introducing a radical new technology, they considered how to enhance existing materials by adding ePTFE into weaves with more traditional fibers. “We took the NYCO you wear now and made it even better. That was our starting block,” explained Dave Minor, Fibers Technology Lead at WL Gore & Assoc. Since it’s adoption in the early 90s for military field garments, NYCO is common ground for all of the services and was the perfect place to begin their work.


But, this isn’t Gore’s first go at fibers. You’re most likely familiar with WL Gore’s waterproof/breathable technology, known as GORE-Tex. However, that’s a membrane which is bonded to other fasce fabrics. WL Gore & Assoc is a worldwide corporation and boasts a wide range of technologies, including a great dental floss. Naturally, it’s strong, self lubricating and inert, meaning it won’t pick up any heebie-jeebies that might cause infections in your mouth. Later, they came up with a Gore thread, with the same properties. Looking back on those two products, you can see that the move to woven textiles was inevitable. However, in this instance, Gore set out to develop fabrics for military use, rather than looking first for commercial customers. The development didn’t happen overnight. Gore had to work with their supply chain to develop processes to weave the material and refine the ePTFE fibers introduced into the process. Few companies would take on the development of a completely new fabric technology without a formal requirement, leaving me very impressed with this investment.

While the fabric is a Gore product, it’s not GORE-Tex, meaning it’s not waterproof. Instead, it absorbs less water than traditional fabrics, due to the ePTFE’s inert nature. It also remains soft against the skin, yet strong. Product Specialist Cheryl Booth, emphasized the material’s attributes saying, “It’s super wicked strong.” Less water absorption doesn’t just equal more comfort, it also means it dries faster. To this end, I’d like to point out, some impressive numbers.

Dry Time Numbers/Increasing Strength When Wet Data
Dry time comparison based on MM-TS-07 test method shows Katana to dry in 20 minutes as compared to NyCo drying in 35 minutes.
Katana fabric will increase 15% in strength when wet. NyCo fabric will lose > 15% in strength when wet.

Although I found the technology remarkable the first time I saw it several years ago, Gore rested on their laurels. They’ve advanced the concept and made improvements from early construction. In addition to enhanced durability, they also improved printability and comfort. Those of you who are familiar with early uniforms made from Katana, may recall that the print looked washed out. To counter this effect, they moved the ePTFE fibers from the surface of the weave further to the rear. Not only did this result in richer printing, but more of the ePTFE is against the skin, resulting in increased comfort. The Saber fabric in the middle of the image below is from the first generation, while the MultiCam fabric to the left is from a recent production run. You can really see the difference the new weave makes.


The Katana fabric has been chosen for use in the Arc’teryx LEAF Assault LT line of hot weather uniforms and has already been adopted for issue by allied units. It’s a No Melt, No Drip material thanks to the NYCO content, but does not offer full FR properties. However, they also have a full Nylon fabric called Saber which is much lighter than Katana, and much softer to the skin. This was developed for customers who don’t require NM/ND. I expect to see this offered in a commercial garment soon as well. As I mentioned earlier, Gore is working on turning other combinations of fibers into fabric. It could be could be any fiber, created specifically to enhance certain characteristics, like full FR. Gore’s team continues to work with customers to identify requirements. Additionally, while ePTFE is white, it can be solution dyed and Gore has demonstrated the use of such ePTFE fibers in a new fabric called Scimitar, seen above next to Katana (L) and Saber (C). A full Scimitar uniform is seen below.

GORE Scimitar_Front

Be sure to see the latest Gore ePTFE Fiber Enhanced Fabrics as well as other technologies at SOFIC in booth #1420.


FirstSpear Friday Focus – Tubes Now Available to Approved Manufacturers

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Fenton, MO – FirstSpear, manufacturer of military and law enforcement load bearing equipment, armor platform technology, and performance technical apparel has released its revolutionary Tubes™ Rapid Release Technology for individual and commercial sale. The Tubes were originally released on flagship FS plate carriers like the Strandhögg and Assaulter Armor Carrier. Early adopters within the Special Operations community and Law Enforcement proved early on that FirstSpear’s Tube system significantly enhances the capabilities of the operator while reducing the overall weight of their personal protective equipment.

“We put a tremendous amount of R&D into developing the next generation of personal protective equipment, and the Tubes system is one of the most significant results of that effort. Now that the system has proven itself with the most demanding users, we are proud to make the technology more readily available.” CEO, Scott Carver –FirstSpear.

Tubes are available in 2” and 4” configurations and feature one of the fastest most secure single-handed PPE closure systems available on the market. Older style body armor carriers have closures that utilize either a heavy hook and loop flap system that quickly wears out and collects dirt and grime or a release buckle that is clumsy and unable to provide a stable platform while under load. Most releasable armor carriers use a complex cable system which is virtually impossible to put back together quickly, creates a single failure point, and if not routed properly can be disastrous.

The Tubes provide a recognized and proven solution for military / Law Enforcement equipment manufacturers that cuts significant weight and bulk from the front of the carrier and meets many of the latest industry requirements. Tubes are BERRY compliant, constructed from IR signature suppressive materials, have exceeded mil-spec testing standards, and are currently being fielded to the most demanding users for land, maritime, combat diving, and airborne operations.

The single hand operation is not only easy to learn, but the muscle memory of putting the vest on and taking it off each day is the exact same movement performed during an emergency to release the carrier. The Tubes also ensure the cummerbund sets in the same place every time, avoiding misalignment and the risk of improper armor placement of the cummerbund. In addition, the system speeds up casualty assessment, transport, and decontamination protocol in a chem/bio environment.

“Patrol officers now have the ability to quickly throw on level IV plates during a crisis, and if you’ve got a casualty in the field, a medic can easily get your armor off, patch you up and get your armor back on in seconds. Anyone who has ever worn a plate carrier can appreciate the ease and security of the Tubes.” VP Business Development, Ronnie Fowlkes – FirstSpear.

The Tubes are now available to approved equipment manufactures and Tube Kits will be ready for individual sale coming soon. Available in Black, Tan 499, Coyote 498, and Foliage in 2” and 4” sizes. Contact FirstSpear to incorporate the industry leading Tubes Technology in your next project.


Brand & Oppenheimer Acquires the Assets of Cutting Edge TexStyles inFirst of Prospective New Business Additions

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

PORTSMOUTH, RI – May 11, 2017 – Brand & Oppenheimer Co., Inc. (“B&O,” “the Company”), a leading textile converter and provider of technical fabrics to multiple industries, today announced that it has acquired the assets of Cutting Edge TexStyles, a 99-year-old manufacturer of bias binding, trims and textiles based in Bedford, MA. The new business will continue to operate in its existing location with its current staff, including former CEO Joe Goldman, who will now serve as Vice President of the Cutting Edge TexStyles Sales Division of B&O alongside the Company’s Performance Textiles and 1947 Sales Divisions.

Cutting Edge TexStyles has a longstanding reputation as a third-generation manufacturer of “narrow” fabrics in bias bindings and trims. Like B&O, the business is also a textile converter known for delivering quality and service to diverse industries and niche business.

“We are very pleased to welcome Joe and his team to Brand & Oppenheimer. We view the addition of Cutting Edge as synergistic and a means to diversify into the narrow textile sector,” stated Edward Ricci, B&O CEO. “With the support of our owners, Praesidian Capital, we will be able to explore similar acquisitions in the future that will allow B&O to expand its capabilities within the overall textile industry and thereby provide increasingly more robust products and services to our customers.”

According to Goldman, “we see new opportunities by joining forces with B&O. We are both century-old businesses that continue to thrive by constantly meeting customer demands with quality materials. This will be a seamless transition for our customers and employees. We look forward to offering the B&O product line to Cutting Edge customers.”

The Founding Partner of Praesidian Capital, Jason Drattell, noted that “we are encouraged by the progress that Brand & Oppenheimer has made in the past two years under the management of Ed Ricci, Ben Galpen and Bryan Boulis. We look forward to seeing more acquisition opportunities like Cutting Edge that support the Company’s growth strategy.”

TenCate Blowing Out Over 1 Million Yards Of Fabric

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Considering so many readers are small business owners or DIYers, I thought this would be a great share. TenCate Protective Fabrics is having an inventory clearance sale. They have over a million yards of fabric that they need to get rid of at significant discounts.

They have woven flame resistant fabrics in different weights and styles (ripstop, plain weave, twill). Different prints and colors (UCP – yes, they still have that), old-school woodland, black, khaki, etc.. They also have flame resistant knits in various shades, weights and styles (mesh, jersey, pique, interlock, etc.). Many of the fabrics were made for military use, but they also have fabric used in the oil and gas, electrical safety and fire safety markets. For pricing and additional information, please contact John Blackmon.

NRAAM 2017 – Hazard 4

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Hazard 4 showed me their new patented, lockable buckle technology they are beginning to introduce into their line. It uses a switch to lock the belt closed which is more effective than the previous sliders they’ve used in the past. Additionally, this buckle has adjuster loops on both male and female ends so it can be used for belt applications.



AustriAlpin – New Cobra FM Buckles

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Although these are non-life support buckles, they will still hold up to 1000 lbs (4 kN). Weighing in at 19 oz, these are available in fixed and adjustable models, in 3/4″ and 1″.


Index Fasteners Introduces PenCott Camouflage Kydex Material

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Makers of thermomolded holsters, magazine pouches and other products can now get genuine Kydex printed with genuine, approved PenCott® camouflage patterns.

Index Fasteners Thermoplastics Division is currently selling pre-shrunk sheets of .080 inch thick, 1 ft. x 2 ft. GreenZone® printed Kydex® through their website. PenCott® BadLands® and SandStorm® camouflage pattern Kydex® is in development and will also be available soon. Contact Index Fasteners Inc. for further information.

Follow PenCott® camouflage on Facebook and Instagram, and Index Fasteners on Facebook.

Armageddon Gear – New Bungee Webbing For Slings

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Armageddon Gear has literally been working for years with webbing manufacturers to develope a bungee webbing, made specifically for their standard and convertible carbine slings. This is a soft flat webbing with built-in stretch that has been developed to match the strength and performance characteristics of their previous carbine sling. The flat webbing won’t roll and twist like the tubular webbing slings used to.

Carbine Sling

Convertible Carbine Sling w/QD Swivels

Armageddon Gear products are Made in the USA!