TenCate Tecashield® for riot shields
The shields of approximately 1500 members of the Dutch Mobile Unit for Riot Control are equipped with new covers and armrests. They give the shield extra protection and make it more comfortable to carry. After a period of inventory and testing, the choice fell on TenCate Tecashield®. Within the Dutch Police Cooperation Facility (vtsPN), Marloes Siewes is responsible for ensuring that the materials in clothing and equipment meet the specified technical requirements.
She approached producers and garment-manufacturers and had six sample covers made. These she had tested in the Mobile Unit Riot Training Centre, where stones, empty oil drums, Molotov cocktails and crush barriers were thrown. TenCate Tecashield® emerged as the best and most durable. ‘It was wear-resistant, with a good ratio of strength to fire-resistance. The covers remained securely in place on the shields and are chemical-resistant to boot.’
The TenCate Tecashield® quality used in this project is not only lighter but also stronger than other materials, such as leather. The fabric is used as additional reinforcement on those parts of the clothing where wear is most severe, such as knees and elbows. By combining 100% para-aramid fabric with a double-sided coating, it is remarkably strong and provides thermal protection. The covers have now been in use for a year – at least in the large riot squads such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The general opinion is that ‘this material is fantastic and highly durable’.
In her job Marloes Siewes (picture) is continually looking at what is available on the market in terms of fabrics and other materials. If companies make known what materials they are using and what they are doing as far as development is concerned, she can assess whether a material is suitable for other projects. In this respect she speaks highly of the cooperation and contact with Jan Dijkstra (sales manager TenCate Protective Fabrics). For the Dutch Police Cooperation Facility, it’s a question of a combination of factors such as price, quality and logistics, which count for a certain percentage. ‘These are our specifications and ultimately the best product wins.’