Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

Sitka Arrowhead Equipment – Midlayer Jacket and Hoody

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

The Midlayer Jacket and Hoody are cross-functional pieces which find their DNA in Sitka’s Kelvin Active Jacket. However, due to material and construction, the Arrowhed Midlayer is even lighter and more breathable.

The key to this midlayer is its effectiveness as both a standalone piece and as part of a wet weather layering system. Exceptionally lightweight, highly breathable and compressible making it well suited for Special Reconnaissance tasks.

In fact, I’ve been wearing one for several months and love the comfort, both in how it feels against the skin but also how it feels as it warms up and under exertion.

The key to the success of the Midlayer Jacket and Hoody is the employment of Polartec Alpha Direct which is the newest variant of their Alpha insulation, originally invented for use in USSOCOM’s Protective Combat Uniform level 3 jacket.

Alpha has become extremely popular in outdoor clothing due to its high air permeability, allowing perspiration to escape. Alpha Direct is even more breathable as they’ve eliminated the next to body layer of the sandwich-style application of the insulation. Yet, Alpha Direct retains the loft to create air pockets which create a layer of insulating air. When you’re static it insulates, but when you move, heat and perspiration can be be pushed away from the body. This process is facilitated by the use of Brookwood AEROLITE H600 30d Nylon Ripstop face fabric which offers breathability and packability.

Because Alpha Direct has direct contact with the skin or other fabric layers, it increases breathability, while reducing weight, bulk, and dry-times.

In addition to those factors, you also get zippered handwarmer pockets and a single chest mounted zippered pocket.

The backer and exterior face readily accept dyes and can be color matched to maintain a consistent subdued tone throughout the garment. It not feels good, but looks good as well.

Offered in Coyote, Black and Lead, sizes Small – XXLarge, the jackets are made in El Salvador meaning they are TAA compliant.

US Elite has posted a blog entry about Polartec Alpha. They’ll will also be conducting a concurrent Facebook and Instagram Live event today at 1430 EDT where they’ll show you the line and conduct a giveaway.

Find an Arrowhead Dealer here.

FLIR Wins DARPA Contract Worth Up to $20.5M to Develop Revolutionary New Protective Fabrics for Chem-Bio Defense

Monday, April 12th, 2021

Personalized Protective Biosystems (PPB) Program Will Create Fabrics with Built-In Ability to Fight Chemical and Biological Agents, from VX to Chlorine Gas to Ebola Virus

ARLINGTON, Va.–FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced it has won a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to rapidly develop novel fabrics with embedded catalysts and chemistries that can fight and reduce chemical and biological threats upon contact. The revolutionary fabrics will be incorporated into protective suits and other equipment such as boots, gloves, and eye protection that can be worn by troops on the battlefield, medical experts, healthcare workers, and more. FLIR received $11.2 million in initial funding for the potential five-year effort worth up to $20.5 million, including options.

The goal of DARPA’s Personalized Protective Biosystems (PPB) program is to reduce the substantial weight and physiological burden of current Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so soldiers and other specialists can better perform their tasks. PPB will combine novel, lightweight protective materials with new prophylactic medical technologies that mitigate chemical and biological threats at vulnerable tissue barriers, notably the eyes, skin and lungs. The complete system will enable troops and first responders to operate without the burden of carrying and wearing PPE, which can cause heat stress and reduce time spent completing the mission.

“With lives at stake, future operators wearing PPB suits will gain a major edge in staying protected from toxic chemicals and emerging biological threats such as dangerous viruses,” said Mark Stock, VP and general manager of the Sensor Systems business at FLIR. “We’re honored DARPA has chosen us to lead this extraordinary and highly innovative effort to develop first-of-its-kind protective fabrics for our nation’s warfighters, health and public safety officials.”

FLIR and its teaming partners will develop a prototype fabric material, the Integrated Soldier Protective System (ISPS), for testing by government laboratories. Work will be performed at FLIR facilities in Pittsburgh. The ISPS award consists of a two-year base period, two-year first option, and one-year final option. The result after five years will be a suite of prototype protective fabrics and garments ready for transition to a program of record with the U.S. Department of Defense.

FLIR safeguards people and property by providing tools that see and sense harmful Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) substances. For more on FLIR Systems’ threat detection products, visit

Sneak Peek – Nemesis Plate Carrier from A7 Defense & Aerospace

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Sneak peek at the new A7 “NEMESIS’ plate carrier with fire resistant HEXGUARD and what they promose are “a few more next level innovations.”

Burlington Reaches Production Milestone of 1 Million Yards for Army Green Service Uniforms

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

April 8, 2021, Greensboro, NC – Burlington Industries LLC, a division of Elevate Textiles, is excited to report the production of over one million yards of fabric for the new Army Green Service Uniforms. The one million yards of fabric is equivalent to about 200,000 jackets, 115,000 hats and belts, 320,000 pants and 195,000 ties—nearly 575 miles of fabric. If laid end to end, this amount would stretch from Burlington’s divisional headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina to New York City.

Burlington is proud to be an integral part of the United States Military defense supply chain for more than 55 years. The development of the new, worsted wool blended Army Green Service Uniform fabric has been in progress for over two years and includes partnerships with garment producer Fechheimer, the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Philadelphia (DLA), the United States Army and several private industry partners. In line with Burlington tradition, the process remains focused toward serving those in the United States Armed Forces. These new fabrics allow their wearers the confidence to perform at their best while experiencing unmatched comfort and durability. These fabrics are produced at the company’s facilities in Raeford and Cordova, North Carolina out of 100% American-made yarns.

“Burlington is thrilled to have reached the milestone of producing over one million yards of the new Army Green fabric, and we continue to be honored to serve the men and women of the U.S. Military with a dedication to quality and innovation. The worsted wool fabrics of our Raeford operation and brand consistently provide soldiers with comfort, durability, wrinkle resistance and color capability unlike any other,” said Joey Underwood, President of Burlington and Safety Components.

Since 1923, Burlington has been a global textile leader with core competencies in worsted wool and performance synthetics, and inherent FR fabrics. Offering a diverse range of vertical manufacturing capabilities and numerous fiber and fabric blends, Burlington® Military is proud to provide quality fabrics for United States Military personnel. Through innovation, Burlington’s in-house Research and Development department, Burlington Labs®, engineers advanced fabrications and technical finishes that are applied to protect and enhance performance while providing troops protection, easy-care and superior comfort in all of their diverse environments. Burlington Military combines the resources from the Burlington and Safety Components business units to create an extensive military products platform of diversified fabrics developed to service the specific needs of the military market.

Beez Combat Systems – CD Pack Buckles

Monday, April 5th, 2021

The CD PACK, or can’t decide pack, offers the wearer the choice between a field repair / replaceable buckle setup or a field repair / replaceable G hook setup. The CD PACK offered by Beez Combat Systems is especially useful if the wearer wants to swap between a buckle or G Hook mounting system.

The two field repair / replaceable G hooks allow the wearer the ability to interchange their setups utilizing plate carriers or placards with a non adjustable webbing system.

The Beez Combat Systems CD PACK was designed to work with placards and chest rigs with fixed loop buckle attachment systems. The CD PACK is available in both black and tan color options and is available as a set.

Available at

Army Research Lab & University of Central Florida Optimize 3D Printing Process

Monday, April 5th, 2021

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army researchers collaborated with academic partners from the University of Central Florida to improve additive manufacturing. This partnership may help deliver extreme lightweight components to future Soldiers.

By optimizing the printing process for the additive manufacturing of a high-strength magnesium alloy and fabricating 24 micro-lattice structures, researchers characterized the compressive strength and failure modes, which will enable much lighter Army components.

“We used a magnesium alloy known as WE43, which has only been successfully 3D printed by a handful of researchers,” said Dr. Brandon McWilliams, the lead researcher for 3D printing metals at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “In this work, we optimized the process to achieve higher density than previously reported and used that to produce and characterize lattice structures made up of WE43.”

Magnesium Elektron WE43 is a high strength casting alloy. It can be used in temperatures of up to 300°C (572°F), according to AZoM, an online publication for the materials science community. “This alloy has good mechanical properties coupled with excellent corrosion resistance.”

Advanced additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver critical parts at the point of need, reducing the need for lengthy logistic chains. Also, the U.S. Army’s modernization strategy calls for lightening the load to help support future Soldiers.

The research team published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Materialia.

McWilliams said he believes joining advanced lightweight alloys with novel multi-scale structures through additive manufacturing will be a key aspect of modernizing Army weapon systems. There are many lightweight structural applications in the automotive, aerospace and biomedical industries.

“Current systems are too heavy, which increases burden to the Soldier, reduces fuel efficiency and degrades mission effectiveness,” he said. “It is my goal as an Army researcher to conduct research, which has the maximum chance of success of transition from basic and applied research stage to practical application in order to enable transformational overmatch.”

Partnering with academia and industry has been a priority with the laboratory since it introduced its Open Campus initiative.

“This was an exciting and rewarding collaboration that produced the technological accomplishment founded on fundamental understanding of materials and additive manufacturing,” said Prof. Yongho Sohn, lead researcher at University of Central Florida. “Technological vision with clear scientific objectives defined by Dr. McWilliams and his team was the key to our contribution.”

Army researchers will now evaluate the high strain rate and ballistic properties of these 3D-printed materials and look for demonstration applications, such as ultra-lightweight unmanned aircraft system and robotic vehicle components, he said.

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

HLC Industries Inc – Commercial OCP Fabrics

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

HLC Industries Inc – makers of the CORDURA® TRUELOCK™ Solution Dyed Solid Color Fabrics is now providing the current OCP Pattern for the Commercial Marketplace, available in 330D / 500D / 1000D Deniers, within their in-stock program of high quality fabrics that meet the Military Specification of Mil-C-32439B, PU Coated w/DWR Finish and meets the nIR Spectral Reflectance ratings. Driven by customer requests and warfighter needs, HLC is proud to introduce their OCPX Fabrics Collection – 100% USA Made / Berry Compliant.

Sample Swatches + Marketing Materials available, Contact: [email protected]

McRae Footwear – Terassault 2 Boot with Gore Extended Comfort Technology

Monday, March 8th, 2021

Nestled not far from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, McRae Footwear’s commitment to putting boots on the feet of US service members goes back to the Vietnam War, when they began making jungle boots. Today, they continue the tradition. Their T2 series is the latest in hot weather boots and a new model, the Ultra Light Extended Comfort Temperate Weather Combat Boot features a new Gore-Tex membrane which increases breathability.

That name is a mouthful, but this is one heck of a boot. Although there may be lighter Gore-Tex lined boots out there, they aren’t constructed like this. What’s more, this an AR 670-1 / AFI 36-2903 compliant boot.

The elephant in the room is that many feel Gore-Tex lined boots are feel hotter than standard boots so they will forego the protection afforded by the membrane. What they really mean is they feel “clammy” and understandably so, since for decades the standard Gore-Tex lined boot construction has included both a lining material along with foam.

The US Army’s first general issue boot with a Gore-Tex lining was the Intermediate Cold/Wet (ICW) Boot which dates from the early 90s. Many called it the “Balkans Boot” because it was first issued en masse to troops heading to peacekeeping duties in the Former Yugoslavia. It was made from full grain leather and featured a foam and knit fabric lining. Later versions transitioned to Tan suede.

The relative humidity inside that boot is 70% which is going to make your feet feel clammy. Most modern Gore-Tex lined boots still use similar construction to this older government design. The relative humidity inside the new McRae boot is just 40%. That’s a significant reduction, but how did they get there?

Working with WL Gore & Assoc, McRae took a minimalist design approach. Right off the bat, the boot they chose to integrate the Extended Comfort Technology into is a hot weather boot. Next, they eliminated all of the extra material used to line boots. There’s zero foam in this boot. That makes it lighter and more comfortable in heat and humidity. This membrane is much more like the Gore-Tex jacket you wear on your upper body with the membrane bonded to a lining which helps wick moisture.

Additionally, the T2 Boot is comfortable right out of the box. Their goal was to offer running shoe level of comfort and these boots are both lightweight and flexible. Much of this has to do with their sole system which is comprised of a Vibram PolyUrethane/Rubber outsole with low density/Ultra Light Weight PU midsole.

The upper is pretty standard. It’s a combination of Coyote colored Cowhide Suede and 1000D Cordura like most modern combat boots. There’s also a simple, flat collar at the top so there’s no build up of material against the calf and the loop actually works while pulling them on.

These are boots are made in the USA, but the Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Range membrane which is used in these boots hails from WL Gore & Assoc’s operation in Germany. Although it’s been quite successful in Europe, this is the first time this particular material has been integrated into a boot intended for wear by US service members. This means the boots are not Berry compliant, but rather TAA compliant. That doesn’t restrict individual purchases, but it does make a difference how a unit or agency would order large numbers.

One of the things I really like about these boots is that they come out of the box with Teraloc Laces, which many of you will recognize as “sausage” laces. There’s laces seem a bit stretchy and feature intermittent thick and thin sections to aid in keeping the laces tied because the thicker sections won’t slip through knots in the thinner sections. I often spend the extra money to retrofit boots with them.

The low density, removable footbed is Mil-Spec and worked for me, but consider that if you swap them out for something different, it may change the fit.

Sizes offered are 5 – 12, 13 R and W. An interesting note, due to the standard issue military footwear last, which is essentially the foot shape model used to size boots, McRae recommends boots should be purchased a full size smaller than casual shoes. However, I received mine in my standard size and wear thicker socks with boots and the fit is what I expect from commercial footwear.

McRae also offers a non-Gore-Tex lined version called the Ultra Light Hot Weather Combat Boot-Coyote complete with integrated water drainage, as well as a steel toe version. I am amazed at how light the steel toe model is. Like the Gore-Tex version of the T2, they are also AR 670-1 compliant. They are also Berry compliant.

One last note. As of right now, the Ultra Light Extended Comfort Temperate Weather Combat Boot from McRae is intended for non-aviation use only. It has not yet been awarded Safe-To-Fly approval.

Although categorized as a temperate boot, I can see this as an all season boot for many, depending on where they are located. The increased breathability means wearers don’t have to sacrifice a waterproof membrane in hot weather and this flexibility will extend wear into cooler and wetter seasons.