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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

Tennessee Apparel, W.L. Gore Team To Produce Chemical/Biological Clothing System

Tullahoma, Tenn.-based military garments manufacturer Tennessee Apparel Corp. (TAC) and Newark, Del.-based W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., manufacturer of GORE-TEX® fabric, have partnered to produce a chemical and biological (CB) protective clothing system that will offer enhanced protection and reduced thermal burden for U.S. special operations personnel.

Tennessee Apparel will produce the CB protective garments under contract for the Uniform Integrated Protection Ensemble Increment 1 (UIPE I1) effort.

The protective ensemble comprises a lightweight combat uniform worn over a protective undergarment made of Gore’s stretch GORE® CHEMPAK® selectively permeable fabric. Gore reports its Gore Chempak fabric features a comfortable stretch construction that requires no thermal insulating layer next to the skin, thus further reducing heat stress and also increasing heat loss through convection.

The layered apparel system protects against warfare agents as well as exposure to petroleum, oils, lubricants and other environmental contaminants. It may be worn while performing land or sea combat operations in any climate with minimal impact on combat effectiveness, the companies report. In addition, the undergarment design can be easily incorporated with other combat gear and personal protective equipment, both existing and in development.

“We are excited about the launch of the UIPE I1 chemical and biological protective garment for the Special Operations community,” said Rick Francis, co-president, TAC. “This durable, low-profile protective undergarment is truly a revolutionary CB product that will protect the Operator while allowing them to be more functional during operations in adverse conditions.”

December 3, 2013