Silencer Shop

Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

US Army Develops Wool-Centric FR Fabric

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Last week, the US Army released a story about a new FR fabric they’ve developed. This is great news. I love to see new materials developed. I also share Army Textile Technologist Carole Winterhalter’s and others’ enthusiasm for the reintroduction of wool into US military uniforms. There are only good things to say about wool, particularly the wool sourced from Rambouillet sheep, which rivals New Zealand’s famed Merino wool. I think it’s going to happen eventually, as well. However, there are a couple of things I want to point out about the article.

First off, the article states that the goal of the development of this new fabric blend is to create a flame-resistant combat uniform made wholly from domestic material, but that’s already been done, by multiple vendors. Although, US Army and Marine Corps FR combat uniforms are made of Tencate’s Defender M, which is milled from a blend of materials that incorporates Austrian Lenzig FR Rayon fibers, a fiber requiring a Berry waiver, there are many domestic FR fabrics. Rather, the goal here, seems to be to figure out ways to use wool, and in particular, wool blends.

Additionally, the US herd of sheep is currently insufficient to support a major DoD procurement. Currently, SOF is way out front of the services on this, and the industry is working hard to support their limited requirements while continuing to sustain its existing commercial business.

Finally, the article seems to overstate the Army’s role in the introduction of our domestic Superwash facility. To be sure, they supported the effort, but it has not sat fallow, awaiting an Army requirement. To the contrary; it is a fully viable commercial entity, currently supporting such brands as Duckworth, Farm to Feet, Point6, XGO and others.

Having said all of that, I urge them to keep up the good work. Wool is awesome and it’s unfortunate the domestic wool industry is currently so limited. Show the ranchers there’s a viable requirement, and they’ll grow to meet it.


Photo: Pvt. Antwan Williams, an Infantryman serving as a Human Research Volunteer Soldier at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, models a prototype uniform developed by NSRDEC’s textile technologists. He is also wearing a MOLLE Medium Pack System and a conceptual load carriage vest system called the Airborne Tactical Assault Panel that is designed specifically for Airborne operations but will also be evaluated for non-Airborne operations, including jungle environments. (Photo Credit: Jeff Sisto, NSRDEC Public Affairs)

Some of you are going to ask about the chest rig in the photo, called the Airborne Tactical Assault Panel. Yes, that’s Tubes which FirstSpear provided to the Army Experimental Load Carrying Facility. I’ve seen prototypes of this design going back several years and Tubes makes a great, low profile, front closure. Hopefully, we’ll see this adopted.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army researchers who are developing a wool-based fabric blend are aiming to improve combat uniforms while also boosting U.S. manufacturing jobs.

The Army has developed a fabric composed of 50 percent wool, 42 percent Nomex, 5 percent Kevlar and 3 percent P140 antistatic fiber. The goal is to create a flame-resistant combat uniform made wholly from domestic materials, said Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist with the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

“We have a lightweight fabric that is inherently flame resistant. No topical treatments are added to provide [flame resistance],” Winterhalter said. “We are introducing a very environmentally friendly and sustainable fiber to the combat uniform system.

To test prototype uniforms made with the fabric, three Army researchers traveled to Germany in August for Exercise Combined Resolve VII, where they worked with about 100 Soldiers. The exercise drew about 3,500 participants from NATO allies to the region.

There, the researchers joined John Riedener, the field assistance in science and technology advisor assigned to 7th Army Training Command. FAST advisors are a component of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

“We were in the heat of summer here, and it was very warm during the exercise,” Riedener remembered. “The uniforms were lighter weight and breathed better. Soldiers were very happy with the material.”

Soldiers from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division participated in the 21-day testing and completed surveys before and after the exercise, said Brian Scott, NSRDEC equipment specialist, Soldier and Squad Optimization and Integration Team. The R&D team selected Hohenfels, Germany, because the evaluation of a fire-resistant wool undergarment also took place there. 

During testing, each Soldier received three prototype uniforms. Each was made from the same wool-based blend. One was “garment treated” with permethrin, an insecticide, and another was “fabric treated” with permethrin. The third was untreated. 

The Soldiers, who came from a variety of military occupational specialties, wore each of the three uniforms for about seven days in a field environment for a total of 21 days. The testing and survey instructions asked Soldiers not to compare the prototypes with existing uniforms or camouflage patterns.

Their feedback regarding comfort, durability, laundering and shrinkage, insect resistance, and overall performance will help determine whether researchers will continue the development effort, Winterhalter said.

Initial results suggest the majority of the Soldiers liked the fabric because it was lightweight and breathable; however, analysis of the survey data has yet to be completed, said Shalli Sherman, NSRDEC program manager for the Office of Synchronization and Integration.

Winterhalter is optimistic about the prospect of a wool blend being incorporated into combat uniforms because of its environmental, manufacturing and economic benefits. She said the United States has about 80,000 wool growers, and the Army would like to include the material in the clothing system.

“Wool is 100 percent biodegradable. It’s easy to dye and absorbs moisture,” said Winterhalter, who also serves as the federal government’s chief technology officer for the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

“The Army has spent quite a bit of time and money to reintroduce a manufacturing process in this country called Super Wash that allows us to shrink-resist treat the wool. … When blended with other fibers, the fabric does not shrink excessively when washed.”

The new Super Wash process makes wool viable for combat clothing in nearly any application, including jackets, pants, underwear, headwear, gloves and socks, Winterhalter said.

NSRDEC researchers are planning for a larger field study with more users over a longer time period of time, possibly 30 days. More data on comfort and durability will be needed for the Army to move forward, Winterhalter said.

Safariland Adopts ULTRAcomp High Performance Laminate

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

SAVANNAH, GA- November 16, 2016- Blue Force Gear®, announced today that it has reached an agreement with The Safariland Group to license Blue Force Gear’s ULTRAcomp® high-performance laminate as a part of Safariland’s ever growing opportunities to offer customers the best products in the industry, seen in Safariland Armor.


“The Safariland Group shares our passion for helping the good guys make it home safe,” said Ashley Burnsed, founder and CEO of Blue Force Gear. “We are extremely happy to work with them.”

Safariland Armor has begun incorporating ULTRAcomp® into its new line of V1 overt external carriers, which were introduced at the 2016 SHOT Show held in Las Vegas, NV. “ULTRAcomp is the best combination of strength, quality and comfort,” said Tim O’Brien, Category Director of Soft Armor. “It was an easy choice when Safariland was selecting the best material for our armor systems to pair it with ULTRAcomp.”

Blue Force Gear has attained the perfect blend of art and science to create a truly unique material – ULTRAcomp®. ULTRAcomp® combines the properties of a rubber-based laminate – resistance to tear, abrasion, water, bacteria and fungus – with a Cordura® fabric facing for color or pattern and reduced IR signature. This is a case where the sum is greater than its parts. The combined strength of the two materials becoming one allows Blue Force Gear to push the limits on weight savings while exceeding established standards of strength and durability.

PROTECH Tactical Releases Fast Attack Vest Now with FirstSpear Closure System

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Fast attack high-speed platform with cutting-edge closure system debuts for the first responder, patrol and tactical markets

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Safariland, a recognized leader in the armor industry, today announced the release of the PROTECH® Tactical Fast Attack Vest outfitted with the FirstSpear® Tubes™ Closure System for the first responder, law enforcement and tactical markets.

FirstSpear Tubes enhance the ease of donning and doffing the Fast Attack Vest with a quick up or down single-hand function. The easy motion for attaching or detaching the system leverages the user’s muscle memory, ideal for stressful or high-speed scenarios. FirstSpear Tubes ensure the cummerbund of the garment is always positioned in the same location, which is vital for proper ballistic overlap to mitigate the risk of misalignment and incorrect attachment.

“Our partnership with FirstSpear granted the opportunity to incorporate cutting-edge Tubes technology into some of our most trusted tactical platforms,” said Todd Mackler, vice president of Safariland Armor. “By redesigning high-speed platforms, such as the Fast Attack Vest, and offering the Tubes closure variant, we’re able to further accommodate the market demand for lightweight, high-performing, rapid-release closure systems.”

Following the release of the Shift 360™ with Tubes closure, the Fast Attack Vest with FirstSpear Tubes is the second of three tactical platforms to be introduced with the closure system configuration this fall. Capitalizing on the innovative integration of the most sought-after tactical platforms and closure system technologies currently available, the Fast Attack Vest with Tubes closure was developed under the continuing partnership between Safariland and FirstSpear, LLC.

This Fast Attack Vest typifies the purpose of high-speed platforms with design features chosen specifically for user comfort, maneuverability and custom configurations, including:
Advanced Webless System (AWS) load-bearing platform to reduce overall carrier weight by approximately 30 percent without sacrificing durability, plus optional equipment/pouch configurability.

Full ballistic panel array consisting of front, back, side and shoulder with a multitude of ballistic packages from the Safariland Armor product line, including the Hardwire® vest, the lightest Type II and Type IIIA body armor in the world from Hardwire, LLC.
Optional accessories such as ballistic collar, ballistic throat, structured upper arms, lower abdomen/spine protector, and groin protector for additional ballistic coverage.

Compatibility with hard armor plates for stand-alone or in-conjunction-with protection in 8” x 10” or 10” x 12” rectangle, shooters and swimmers cut and Medium SAPI.

The Fast Attack AWS FST is available in an a-la-carte ordering system for teams and individuals to configure their fighting system for their specific needs. Also offered is an array of ballistic and non-ballistic accessories, tactical pouches and identification patches. It is also available for ordering with Type II and Type IIIA ballistic packages as well as color options based on the AWS load-bearing material.

Currently offered in the Advanced Webless System, the Fast Attack Vest will soon be available with FirstSpear 6/12™ (6/12) load-bearing material. This state-of-the-art material eliminates excess yards of bulk nylon, snaps and polymer stiffener for an overall system weight reduction. Additionally, 6/12 load-bearing material provides increased fabric flexibility and a clean silhouette that aids in enhanced signature management and mobility.

A Traditional Modular Webbing (TMW) Fast Attack Vest model will be available in the near future, while another carrier is anticipated for a late November release to address needs of officers and first responders in the most demanding environments.

For more information on the Fast Attack AWS FST, please visit: www.protechtactical.com.

International Textile Group Acquired By Platinum Equity

Monday, October 24th, 2016

We just received this very exciting announcement from International Textile Group. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, ITG’s businesses include: Burlington, Cone Denim, Safety Components and Carlisle Finishing. The company employs approximately 4,800 people worldwide with operations in the United States, Mexico and China. Of you wear our nation’s uniform, you know ITG.

October 24, 2016, Greensboro, NC – International Textile Group, Inc. (ITG or the Company) announced today that it has been acquired by Platinum Equity through a completed merger with an affiliate of Platinum Equity. In the merger transaction, a newly formed Platinum Equity affiliate merged with and into ITG, with ITG continuing as the surviving corporation and as a privately-held Platinum Equity portfolio company. ITG’s common stock has ceased to be publicly traded, and former ITG stockholders will receive information from Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the paying agent in the merger, on how to receive the cash consideration for their shares of ITG common stock, in the near future.

In order to complete the merger transaction, Platinum Equity acquired all of the debt and equity securities of the Company previously owned by entities managed by WL Ross & Co. LLC and its affiliates.

The merger transaction and related agreements were entered into following the approval of ITG’s Board of Directors, based upon the recommendation of an independent special committee, along with its independent legal and financial advisors, which negotiated the terms and conditions thereof.

Kenneth T. Kunberger, President & CEO of International Textile Group, continues in his role under the new ownership. “This is an exciting time for ITG,” said Kunberger. “We believe Platinum Equity and ITG’s goals and strategies are well aligned and provide a strong foundation on which to further leverage ITG’s performance innovations and brand heritage across our global markets. We look forward to many opportunities ahead.”

Additional information regarding the merger and related transactions will be contained in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K relating thereto, expected to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on the date hereof.

ACW – FireLoc Heat Stabilized Plastic Fasteners And Buckles

Monday, October 24th, 2016

This is a release from ACW regarding their new FireLoc Heat Stabilized Plastic Fasteners and Buckles.


ACW is the industry’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of Heat Resistant Plastic Hardware.

Introducing FireLoc® heat stabilized plastic fasteners and buckles.

In response to the need for plastic hardware capable of meeting UL/ULC and NFPA standards for heat resistant hardware, we at ACW have engineered a plastic hardware line specifically designed to withstand high-heat applications. These heat stabilized products have been tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratories for use in the United States and Canada.

Our FireLoc® heat stabilized plastic fasteners and buckles meet UL/ULC Certified Standards of Safety.

• NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire
Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2013 Edition
• NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue
Incidents, 2013 Edition
• NFPA 1977, Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland
Fire Fighting, 2016 Edition
• NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Industrial
Personnel Against Flash Fire, 2012 Edition
• NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Clothing Elements,
2014 Edition
• NFPA 1999, Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical
Operations, 2013 Edition
• CAN/CGSB 155.20, Standard on Workwear for Protection Against
Hydrocarbon Flash Fire, 2000 Edition
• CAN/CGSB 155.22, Standard on Fireline Workwear for Forest
Firefighters, 2014 Edition

ACW, Inc. is located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island in a state-of-the-art weaving and molding manufacturing facility. For more information on our FireLoc® heat stabilized plastic fasteners and buckles, please contact us at 401-762-5500 or visit www.acw1.com.

AUSA – Unifire Introduces ShieldX Elemental Gear

Friday, October 7th, 2016

TLS vendor Unifire displayed their new ShieldX line at both Modern Day Marine and AUSA. ShieldX is powered by X-STATIC which is a silver based antimicrobial to inhibit odor causing bacteria. The fabric itself is is moisture wicking and fast drying with a soft hand for comfort. Offered in Men’s and Women’s styles, the underlayers are FR (ASTM F1506), Arc Rated and Anti-Static (EN1149-5).

The line includes Underlayers, Socks and Linen. The linen would be great for deployments to austere environments where you can’t get things washed as often as you’d like.

In the case of the socks, there are cotton, Coolmax, Merino and FR blends in several colors.

ShieldXgear is available for unit and agency orders though Unifire.

KDH Defense Systems Chooses Honeywell Materials For Products Designed For US Military Protection System

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Spectra Shield® and Gold Shield® help military achieve goals for reducing soldiers’ body armor weight

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that KDH Defense Systems will use Spectra Shield® and Gold Shield® ballistic composite materials to create new soft armor vest systems as part of the U.S. Army’s next-generation Soldier Protection System (SPS).

Reducing body armor weight is a key goal for the Army. The SPS is a modular, scalable and tailorable system designed to provide an overall weight reduction of 10 percent. It is comprised of five subsystems, one of which is the Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP) subsystem that aims to achieve a 26 percent weight reduction. KDH Defense Systems will incorporate Spectra Shield and Gold Shield with its own ballistic designs to produce several TEP products.

“The key to reducing body armor weight is combining state-of-the-art ballistic designs like KDH Modular Scalable Vests with next-generation materials like Honeywell Shield,” said Dave Herbener, president and CEO, KDH Defense Systems. “We are committed to leveraging the most innovative technologies to help protect the brave men and women serving in the U.S. military.”

Short Bark Industries is also using Spectra Shield to create Ballistic Combat Shirts (BCS) for the SPS TEP system. The company specializes in soft armor, tactical wear, gear and accessories for the military, governmental agencies and law enforcement.

“Honeywell Spectra Shield is a key material to create armor that meets the military’s rigorous requirements for weight, mobility, flexibility and protection,” said Lisa Held Janke, president and CEO, Short Bark Industries, LLC. “Our team works tirelessly to develop solutions that help protect soldiers from the ballistic threats they face in combat.”

Armor made with Honeywell’s Spectra Shield and Gold Shield products were chosen by soldiers after a U.S. Military Human Factors Evaluation. These armor systems demonstrated improved mobility and flexibility, in addition to reduced weight, compared to systems predominantly made with woven aramid.

“The next generation of soft body armor uses Spectra fiber instead of aramid fiber for optimal performance and protection,” said Lin Murray, armor program manager for military and law enforcement at Honeywell Packaging and Composites. “Our collaboration with innovative companies like KDH Defense Systems and Short Bark Industries ensures that the U.S. military and law enforcement have the most advanced ballistic protection available.”

Spectra Shield technology is a patented Honeywell process designed to optimize the ballistic performance characteristics of Spectra fibers. Spectra Shield and Gold Shield products have been widely adopted and proven for the most advanced armor applications globally, from bullet-resistant vests, breast plates and helmets to combat vehicles and military aircraft—all of which require lightweight solutions and superior performance.

Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic materials research program focused on continuous improvement and development of high-performance materials. For more information, visit www.honeywell-spectra.com.

AUSA – Revision Military / Milliken

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Revision Military has developed an interesting thermal signature management shroud using the Milliken Conceal fabric.

It uses a magnetic interface to keep it in place around eyepro. They’ve also created internal standoff around the nose and mouth to suppress hot spots created from exhalation.