Austria-based fiber manufacturer Lenzing Group plans to expand capacity at its Lenzing, Austria,
manufacturing facility for the production of Lenzing FR® flame-resistant fiber. The expansion will
enable the company to supply increased volumes of the fiber to Union City, Ga.-based TenCate
Protective Fabrics for use in its Defender™M Lenzing FR/para-aramid-blend fabrics to be used for US
armed forces military combat uniforms
Fabric Of the Month: Saving Our Troops,”
Textile World, September/October 2007).
A special amendment to the US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, signed
into law recently by President George W. Bush, exempts FR rayon fiber for five years from
requirements that it be manufactured in the United States in order to be used in garments supplied
to the US armed forces. Lenzing FR is produced only at the Lenzing facility, which devotes about 50
percent of its capacity to the production of specialty fibers.
TenCate’s Defender M fabric offers inherent FR properties in addition to moisture management
and breathability. The Lenzing FR/para-aramid blend also can increase the fabric’s thermal
protection properties. The fabric has been specified by the US Army and Marine Corps to replace the
nylon/cotton uniform fabric used currently.
According to Lenzing, increased manufacturing flexibility and capacity at the Lenzing site
will enable it to focus on Lenzing FR production for the Defender M application. The ensuing
increased production of Defender M also will enable TenCate to supply the fabric to the armed
forces of other countries, which now are conducting wear trials and tests of the fabric, Lenzing
and TenCate report.
February 19, 2008