Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

OrthoLite Creates World’s First and Only Aerogel-Infused Open Cell PU-Foam

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

AMHERST, Mass. (February 25, 2021) – OrthoLite®, the industry leader of branded, high performance and comfort footwear solutions, unveils OrthoLite O-Therm™, an innovative new thermal insole technology that sets a new standard in cold-weather footwear protection. O-Therm offers all of the known benefits of open-cell PU-foam, while combining the world’s lightest and most insulative cold barrier protection. This technology is only possible with O-Therm’s proprietary aerogel’s unmatched thermal properties and is unrivaled in any other footwear offering. For the consumer, this means your feet will stay warmer, you can stay outdoors longer, feel more comfortable, perform better and go farther in cold weather conditions.

O-Therm is the first and only aerogel-infused, open-cell PU foam. This new technology creates a thermal barrier that blocks the cold and maintains footwear temperature regulation. Using an advanced aerogel, the world’s most insulating material, the proprietary combination of materials in O-Therm delivers unmatched thermal insulation and all-day comfort underfoot for cold-weather protection.

“OrthoLite’s proprietary aerogel is O-Therm’s secret sauce,” explains Rob Falken, Vice President of Innovation at OrthoLite. “Our advanced aerogel traps micro-pockets of air without the need for loft, and it won’t lose its effectiveness when compressed under foot. OrthoLite’s aerogel is unlike any other aerogel solution in that it is nano-porous inside of a multi-porous structure, and that creates a supreme thermal barrier which blocks both cold and heat. In addition, O-Therm’s advanced silica aerogel powder is the lightest man-made material, weighing in at only three times the weight of air,” Falken notes.

O-Therm advanced aerogel is also exceptionally hydrophobic, which means it repels water and moves moisture away from the foot to provide a drier, more comfortable shoe environment. Exclusive to OrthoLite, this proprietary advanced aerogel requires no special handling or encapsulation – a world’s first.

OrthoLite worked with third-party thermal test laboratory, New York City-based Vartest Laboratories, to quantify the thermal performance of O-Therm aerogel insoles under extreme cold conditions -78°C (-108°F). The third-party test results validate that O-Therm is a breathable thermal barrier that is 54% more effective on average in comparative testing to other thermal insoles when tested at -78°C (-108°F).

O-Therm retains all of the comfort and performance benefits of OrthoLite open cell PU foam. O-Therm is a 2mm base-layer thermal foam that can be combined with a wide range of OrthoLite top-layer foams to create a custom insole solution tailored to a broad range of footwear categories, including: outdoor, casual, work, ski and snowboard, fashion, and other cold weather footwear categories. The innate thinness and moldability of O-Therm also makes it an ideal thermal barrier solution for footwear linings and strobel layers—bringing unsurpassed cold block technology without adding bulk or weight.

“We are proud to introduce this new thermal innovation to the footwear industry,” says John Barrett, President of OrthoLite. “We see tremendous potential in the market—in cold weather footwear applications and beyond.”

As a vertically integrated U.S. company with facilities around the world, OrthoLite collaborates with its brand partners to create and produce custom insole formulations that deliver unrivaled comfort and performance. For additional information on the new O-Therm technology, please click here.

5.11 Announces Partnership with 3M on New Carbon Black Uniform Application

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Irvine, CA (February 24, 2021) – 5.11, Inc., the global innovator of purpose-built apparel, footwear and gear, is excited to be the first in the public safety space to offer 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black embellishment now available through the 5.11 Custom Shop in Manteca, CA. This patented reflective film has a high level of durability while still maintaining flexibility which makes this glass bead technology a perfect candidate for application to uniform and outerwear alike.

Officer safety is the primary intent of this product giving off-angle brightness in low-light situations, however, remaining a muted appearance during daylight conditions. Unlike other treatments, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black will not lose the dark coloration or reflective properties while still maintaining a peak performance for the life of the product.

3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black Embellishment for 5.11

“While not replacing the ANSI Level 2 Reflective Vest, Carbon Black is an all-the-time option to aid in better viability during low-light situations and has a clean look to maintain traditional appearance that our law enforcement end-users expect,” said Matt Page, 5.11’s Vice President of Global Product.

Capability for embellishment is near limitless from custom agency or standardized law enforcement callout. Additional recommendations are to include piping around sleeves and stripes down pant and pocket to allow more points of viability. “We have had great initial feedback from early field testing with select agencies,” says Brian Tripp, 5.11’s Vice President, Guardian Sales Division. “Improvements in uniforms to elevate officer safety is paramount, and 5.11 strives to drive this effort.”

For additional information or sample interest around 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black embellishment, please contact 5.11’s Innovation Team at [email protected].

Learn more about 5.11’s best-selling gear and accessories at Find a full list of 5.11 company-owned retail stores at

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Receives Its First-Ever Spider Silk Shipment Its Vietnamese Production Facility

Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Prodigy Textiles reaches major milestone delivering first fibers to Company Headquarters

ANN ARBOR, Mich., – February 23, 2021– Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB) (“the Company” or “Kraig Labs”), the biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, announces that the Company received its first small shipment of spider silk from Prodigy textiles, its wholly-owned Vietnamese subsidiary.

The Company has received fiber requests from a broad range of interested parties, including companies that produce products in the fields of sports apparel, industrial textiles, first responder supplies, medical products, and other manufacturers.  In order to meet this demand, the Company established Prodigy Textiles to scale up the production of its recombinant spider silk fibers, threads, and textiles.

The Company’s operations at its Prodigy Textiles facility are now moving forward to significantly expand the Company’s spider silk production.  The Company expects to begin filling the backlog of material requests, including requests from Polartec LLC and MtheMovement, as this added capacity comes online.

“I want to thank the Prodigy Textiles team for making this milestone possible and setting the stage for our expansion. This helps us transition from being the leading developer of spider silk technologies to the producer and supplier of high quality spider silk fibers,” said Jon Rice, the Company’s Chief Operations Officer.  “Now we can focus on meeting the substantial demand for spider silk and solidifying market channel partnerships to reach our goal to develop and bring new products to market.”

To view the most recent news from Kraig Labs and/or to sign up for Company alerts, please go to

h/t Carryology

Milliken Agilus MTP Protective Fabric

Monday, February 15th, 2021

Ultra-Flexible. Remarkably Agile. All-in-one Protective Fabric.

A breakthrough in flexible knife resistant material, Agilus® MTP provides a new level of customizable, multi-threat protective defense. The patented coating technology on p-aramid fabrics actively slows and resists the penetration of knife, spike and ballistic threats.

• Achieve protection without restricting speed or ability to bend and move
• Enhanced comfort, flexibility and ease of movement makes vests more wearable
• Allows p-aramid fabrics to achieve knife and spike resistance while maintaining ballistic protection
• Material is coated on one side, and available in rolled form to optimize ease of handling and manufacturing
• Can readily hybridize with other materials for desired level of threat protection
• Tumble testing per NIJ 0101.06, Section 5 passes stab testing after 10,000 cycles

UF PRO Tactical Materials Glossary

Sunday, February 14th, 2021

UF PRO has created a glossary containing a wide range of materials used in tactical clothing.

Check it out and bookmark it. It’s a great resource.

Blue Force Gear Expands Laser Cutting Capacity to Meet Industry Demand

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

BFG is poised to immediately license and produce patented Helium Whisper™ attachment technology to manufacturers with increased laser cutting capacity.

Savannah, GA – 11 February 2021

Customers and Industry Partners have spoken, BFG listened.  In response to overwhelming demand from military, first responder, commercial and third-party manufacturers Blue Force Gear has invested to expand laser cutting operations.  Not only have more cutting machines been purchased but additional team members have been brought on staff to support 24-hour seven day a week operations. Since 2012, Blue Force Gear has been licensing Helium Whisper technology to industry partners like Velocity Systems, Safariland and other premium brands.

With multiple US and International patents and patents pending, the Helium Whisper® Attachment System is recognized across the globe by manufacturers and end users alike. The design and materials of the Helium Whisper Attachment System allows for up to a 70% weight savings over traditional MOLLE systems with the same or greater strength. The system also allows for significantly less bulk over legacy pouches.

“Laser cutting is the future. We’re able to cut patterns for gear, like the one-piece Helium Whisper backer, that were never before possible.”
-Alec Coin, Laser Production Manager

The Helium Whisper Attachment System was designed and commercially released in 2011 by Blue Force Gear. Since then, Blue Force Gear has been revolutionizing how MOLLE pouches and accessories were previously imagined with the introduction of ULTRAcomp®, a radical new laminate with numerous innovative characteristics like increased strength, superior abrasion resistance and immunity to staining and liquid absorption. Manufacturers who take advantage of this technology receive the benefits of simplified manufacturing, less material waste, less production time per piece and greater piece to piece precision. These benefits can be easily obtained through Blue Force Gear’s streamlined, simple licensing process.

“As ‘Lighten The Load” has received focus from DoD and Congress, more and more equipment manufacturers are adopting Helium Whisper to meet stringent weight reduction requirements.  Helium Whisper is increasingly mentioned by name as the go-to solution and our licensing program is making it easy for other gear makers to remain competitive.”
– Doug Duggan, Director, OEM & International Sales.

Contact Blue Force Gear today to start producing pouches with the lightest, most elegant MOLLE attachment system in the industry.

Kombucha Tea Sparks Creative Materials Research Solution

Monday, February 1st, 2021

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Kombucha tea, a trendy fermented beverage, inspired researchers to develop a new way to generate tough, functional materials using a mixture of bacteria and yeast similar to the kombucha mother used to ferment tea.

With Army funding, using this mixture, also called a SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, engineers at MIT and Imperial College London produced cellulose embedded with enzymes that can perform a variety of functions, such as sensing environmental pollutants and self-healing materials.

The team also showed that they could incorporate yeast directly into the cellulose, creating living materials that could be used to purify water for Soldiers in the field or make smart packaging materials that can detect damage.

“This work provides insights into how synthetic biology approaches can harness the design of biotic-abiotic interfaces with biological organization over multiple length scales,” said Dr. Dawanne Poree, program manager, Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “This is important to the Army as this can lead to new materials with potential applications in microbial fuel cells, sense and respond systems, and self-reporting and self-repairing materials.”

The research, published in Nature Materials was funded by ARO and the Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The U.S. Army established the ISN in 2002 as an interdisciplinary research center devoted to dramatically improving the protection, survivability, and mission capabilities of the Soldier and Soldier-supporting platforms and systems.

“We foresee a future where diverse materials could be grown at home or in local production facilities, using biology rather than resource-intensive centralized manufacturing,” said Timothy Lu, an MIT associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biological engineering.

Researchers produced cellulose embedded with enzymes, creating living materials that could be used to purify water for Soldiers in the field or make smart packaging materials that can detect damage.

These fermentation factories, which usually contain one species of bacteria and one or more yeast species, produce ethanol, cellulose, and acetic acid that gives kombucha tea its distinctive flavor.

Most of the wild yeast strains used for fermentation are difficult to genetically modify, so the researchers replaced them with a strain of laboratory yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They combined the yeast with a type of bacteria called Komagataeibacter rhaeticus that their collaborators at Imperial College London had previously isolated from a kombucha mother. This species can produce large quantities of cellulose.

Because the researchers used a laboratory strain of yeast, they could engineer the cells to do any of the things that lab yeast can do, such as producing enzymes that glow in the dark, or sensing pollutants or pathogens in the environment. The yeast can also be programmed so that they can break down pollutants/pathogens after detecting them, which is highly relevant to Army for chem/bio defense applications.

“Our community believes that living materials could provide the most effective sensing of chem/bio warfare agents, especially those of unknown genetics and chemistry,” said Dr. Jim Burgess ISN program manager for ARO.

The bacteria in the culture produced large-scale quantities of tough cellulose that served as a scaffold. The researchers designed their system so that they can control whether the yeast themselves, or just the enzymes that they produce, are incorporated into the cellulose structure. It takes only a few days to grow the material, and if left long enough, it can thicken to occupy a space as large as a bathtub.

“We think this is a good system that is very cheap and very easy to make in very large quantities,” said MIT graduate student and the paper’s lead author, Tzu-Chieh Tang.

To demonstrate the potential of their microbe culture, which they call Syn-SCOBY, the researchers created a material incorporating yeast that senses estradiol, which is sometimes found as an environmental pollutant. In another version, they used a strain of yeast that produces a glowing protein called luciferase when exposed to blue light. These yeasts could be swapped out for other strains that detect other pollutants, metals, or pathogens.

The researchers are now looking into using the Syn-SCOBY system for biomedical or food applications. For example, engineering the yeast cells to produce antimicrobials or proteins that could benefit human health.

The MIT-MISTI MIT-Imperial College London Seed Fund and the MIT J-WAFS Fellowship also supported this research.

New PenCott Camouflage Patterns from Hyde Definition and 0241Tactical

Monday, January 18th, 2021

If you follow PenCott Camouflage on social media, then you will have recently seen pictures of two new patterns that were developed with North American environments primarily in mind.

The patterns are DevilDog™ and LeatherNeck™, and are both 4-color variations of the standard PenCott pattern geometry. They were named after popular nicknames for US Marine Corps members, due to the fact that the founder and CEO of 0241Tactical is a USMC veteran.

DevilDog™ is specifically oriented towards high plains, scrub desert, dry bush land, and similar types of terrain with light, sandy soil and sparse vegetation.

LeatherNeck™ on the other hand is designed for more temperate terrain that has a significant amount of brown tones – such as pine forests, mixed woodland with reddish soil, and so on.

Developing new pattern colorways during a period of lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation required some flexibility and creativity in the approach we took – not the least because all the work had to be done virtually between team members in the UK and US.

Our starting point was to analyze existing military patterns that have proven effective in North American environments – such as AOR-Universal, MARPAT-Temperate Woodland, CADPAT-Intermediate, Scorpion W2, etc. – comparatively analyzed within the specific types of environments we wanted to address. With this data in hand, we worked up a palette of potential colors, plugged them into the PenCott geometry, and then worked through numerous color combinations to down-select to a shortlist of pattern variations. Using extensive picture-in-picture analysis we ended up with a pattern colorway for each that seemed to be the best option – and also worthy of the names.

With the colors and names established, artwork was sent to 0241Tactical’s digital printing partner in the US and a small trial run of each pattern was printed on ripstop polyester material. The results can now be seen in the form of anoraks, neck gaiters, and beanie hats being offered through 0241Tactical.

With these garments now going out into the real world for field evaluations, we will be able to validate if the colorways are correct or need tweaking before being released for licensing and/or full production with other partners as well. 0241Tactical will also be able to provide various digitally-printed fabrics, such as 500D Cordura® nylon, in the DevilDog and LeatherNeck patterns to other makers as well.

Beyond these new patterns, look out for an expanded offering of GreenZone® fabrics and partners to come in the first half of 2021. We will also be expanding the MetroPolis® offering with webbing and 500D nylon, as well as additional product partners too. And lastly, Helikon-Tex and Direct Action will continue to expand their WildWood® product offerings this year as well.