TenCate Defender™ M: expansion of geographic market
TenCate Protective Fabrics has secured an order for inherently flame-resistant TenCate Defender™ M fabric in the new colour dark blue, to be supplied to the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization. The order relates to more than 25,000 items of clothing to protect Norwegian marines.
The fabric is a further development of the patented technology and the success of TenCate Defender™ M. The new quality has all the original positive characteristics and retains its colourfastness. TenCate Defender™ M can now be deployed for riot police and special squads, marine corps and airforce.
Tatjana Topalović (manager R&D TenCate Protective Fabrics EMEA)
The R&D team at TenCate Protective Fabrics in Nijverdal headed by Tatjana Topalović has been working on the further development of the TenCate Defender™ M fibre blend for the European market. The existing blend, developed by TenCate Protective Fabrics in North America, was designed for camouflage prints for the uniforms of air and land combat forces. This new blend was required so as to be able to dye the product also in solid dark blue and black. In Europe colour is important and there is a great demand for dark shades. This new blend allows TenCate Defender™ M to be used for markets such as marine corps and police forces (including riot police and special squads), who mainly wear black or dark blue on operations.
The new TenCate Defender™ M quality
All the desired characteristics have been retained in the new blend: heat and flame-resistance, antistatic characteristics, moisture regulation, tear strength, wear resistance and colourfastness. It was decided to employ a combination of dyed meta-aramide and para-aramide fibres instead of an undyed para-aramide component.
In the opinion of Tatjana Topalović the new development is ‘an enhancement of the TenCate Defender™ M product portfolio for a wider range of end-users and applications. Many customers in Europe are impressed by the performance of the product, but are more interested in solid dark shades, such as navy blue and black. These colours are a distinctive feature of riot police and special squads or the marines corps and air force. It was thus a challenge for us to develop a new product that would retain all the positive characteristics of the original TenCate Defender™ M blend, but that could be dyed in dark shades and would still remain colourfast and light resistant, even after multiple washings.
‘On the basis of initial reactions from the market, it looks as though we have succeeded in achieving all this. The principle challenge is now to perfect the production process and increase its efficiency. This is an ongoing process, in which production and R&D are collaborating.’
TenCate Defender™ M fabrics were selected as the fabric of choice by the US Army and the US Marine Corps
Fabric of choice
TenCate Defender™ M fabrics were selected as the fabric of choice for the flame-resistant combat uniforms worn by the US Army and the US Marine Corps. Wearer trials are currently being conducted by the military in a number of European NATO countries.
The new quality is officially called TenCate Defender™ M - DP 9210. It has the same characteristics as the standard fabric. The fabric has been tested by accredited test institutes in accordance with European standards, as laid down by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). Every test institute provides analysis and certification reports. If a company in Europe wishes to participate in tendering, fabrics must be certified in accordance with the requirements that are stated in the tender concerned.