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14th February 2008

Lenzing supplies specialty fibre for new generation of US armed forces uniforms

The Lenzing Group will supply flame retardant specialty fibres for the new generation of US armed forces combat wear.

The US president recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the financial year 2008, enabling the long-term supply of the US armed forces with TenCate Defender fabric for uniforms. The key component of this novel fabric is the heat protection fibre Lenzing FR.

Lenzing supplies the fibres to its US partner TenCate Protective Fabric (TenCate) from Austria. The company is the leading producer of flame retardant fabric for the US armed forces. By legislation, only fully US-made clothing may be provided to the US armed forces. The recent waiver permits Lenzing to supply the required volumes of the specialty fibre Lenzing FR for the next five years.

Lenzing FR advantages

The new uniform fabric Defender M meets US soldiers’ enhanced need for flame protection caused by the rise in attacks with improvised explosive devices. Unlike other fibres, Lenzing FR not only offers inherent FR properties but also active moisture management and excellent comfort of wear, and last but not least – fast and reliable delivery capability of sufficient quantity to an industrial scale. The close cooperation of TenCate and Lenzing combines excellence in FR fabric development and production. TenCate Defender M fabric with Lenzing FR fibre offers superior protection and the high comfort of wear of conventional non-protective fabrics.

In August 2007 TenCate was officially commended by the United States Marine Corps for superior excellence in delivering an outstanding level of quality in its products and services in response to the demands of the US Military Forces.

Global interest

Other armed forces face the enhanced flame and heat risks of present day military reality as well. Due to the large volume needed by the US armed forces, TenCate has been limited in its efforts to serve these international needs. Lenzing is investing in new production capacity to supply FR fibres. In anticipation of increased volume requirements, tests and wear trials are being carried out by international armed forces as well.

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