New body armor from TenCate

May 11, 2013

TenCate Advanced Armor North America announces a new line of personal protection products offering higher levels of life-saving capabilities. The product launch includes soft body armor materials, soft body armor inserts, and hard body armor plates. TenCate Aramid-Shield™ 1000 is a uni-directional aramid ballistic material. TenCate Pro-Tector® 1000 is a woven aramid laminate multi-threat material. …

A cut above: hockey socks

May 1, 2013

Most fans watching their favorite National Hockey League (NHL) players zoom, weave and crash on the ice probably don’t realize that some of these consummate athletes aren’t wearing socks. Hockey players regard many styles of protective socks as inhibiting their connection to the ice and, therefore, their performance. However, in a sport where razor-sharp skates …

Portable shields, top-level protection

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams confront weapons of increasing deadliness in conflicts with terror suspects, mass shooters, criminals or rioters well versed in guns and gear. SWAT teams use equipment designed for high-risk situations, including urban close-quarters combat, hostage crises and barricaded suspects. The challenge for manufacturers of protective gear has been to achieve …

Fog-catching fabrics collect water

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, turned a cotton fabric into water-collecting material by coating it with a polymer that changes its microstructure when air temperatures change. The spongy fabric absorbs moisture directly from the air when it is foggy, releasing it as water when the material …

Phoning it in: smart accessories for fitness

The Apple Store offers dozens of sports coaching and fitness applications for the company’s iPhone, iPod and iPad technologies, including 321 Run, iSmoothrun and Runtastic. Using those apps while on the move can be challenging—unless athletes add a Runalyzer blue from Runware, Saint-Denis, France, to their accessory kit. Lightweight, ultra-thin, flexible and comfortable, Runalyzer blue, …

Spacer fabrics for sound control

In Karl Mayer’s acoustic-damping, warp-knitted spacer textiles a monofilament yarn is used in the spacer layer and the outer surfaces are made from a textured yarn for effective sound absorption. The upper and lower sides, with microscopic roughness, reflect impinging sound waves; the space between the two surfaces of the textile provides a dissipation zone …

Devious seed inspires color-shifting fibers

The bright blue seed of the South American “bastard hogberry” has little nutritional value, but its bright color mimics that of a more nutritious seed, deceiving birds into eating the “ringer.” and spreading its seeds far and wide. Researchers at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and the University of Exeter, U.K., used the bastard hogberry’s strategy …

Hard hats from a sweet source

Safety equipment manufacturer MSA, Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest producer of industrial hard hats in North America and worldwide, and its V-Gard® hard hat with its distinctive V-shaped crown has helped prevent head injuries among workers who use the product. Hard hats are made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), generally derived from petroleum. In a move …

Creating the future of textiles: Flexible components

New technique could enable the creation of a variety of fiber-based electronic and photonic devices. What do saltwater taffy and smart textiles have in common? Until recently, probably nothing. But scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to “pull” fibers—in a manufacturing process akin to making taffy—that makes it possible …

Cotton fabric collects water from fog

Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China, turned a cotton fabric into water-collecting material by applying a coating of PNIPAAm, a polymer, to the cotton fabric. At lower temperatures, this cotton has a sponge-like structure at microscopic level. Up to a temperature of 34°C it is highly hydrophilic, …