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A Union County textile manufacturing company creates a high performance tape that’s tough enough to protect soldiers in the battlefield and placid enough to be used as surgical sutures and dental floss.
How Tensylon Began
Integrated Textile Systems started the manufacturing of Japanese-based technology Tensylon from its Monroe plant in 1999. In the last two years, there have been two key acquisitions that have generated worldwide attention for this highly valuable and useful product.
In 2006, Armor Holdings attained Integrated Textile Systems, which was attained by BAE Systems one year later. BAE Systems, which is a well-known company in the global defense and aerospace industry, delivers an array of services and products for naval, land and air forces. The company also works with state-of-the-art electronics, customer support services and information technology solutions.
BAE Systems was renamed to Tensylon High Performance Materials… it’s a secondary of the Land and Armaments operating group.
The Monroe facility was impacted heavily by the acquisitions, which had just added 18,000 square feet to its original manufacturing space of 30,000 square feet. It cost the plant $7.9 million and added more than 40 new jobs. By years’ end, the company is looking to add more production lines and have 60 employees total. It also includes the research and development operation.
The reason so much attention is placed on the Monroe site is that it’s the one place where Tensylon materials are developed and manufactured. These materials come from an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene polymer and are used in a number of ways – advanced fiber compounds in ballistic products, for example.
The Tensylon high-performance tape or fiber can be made into various other specially-designed composites, all dependent on the unique application. It’s also one material that’s used for ballistic protection in the cabin where crew are situated in the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles that are presently being used in Iraq. It’s also seen in the M1114 Up-Armored HMMWV.
According to Owen, when BAE Systems took over Armor Holdings/Integrated Textile Systems, they attained all assets, technology and information regarding Tensylon. Plus, the machines that make the Tensylon can only be found in Monroe.
Who Is Owen?
South Carolina native Owen earned her chemical engineering bachelor degree from the University of South Carolina in 1986. Upon graduation and the last 10 years, she worked with Allied Signal (currently known as Honeywell International), working with the high-performance fibers. Upon going to the University of Richmond in Virginia, she attained his M.B.A from Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School of Business. Upon completion, Owen became a part of the NatureWorks LLC, which is an international biopolymer manufacturer. This role ensured that Owen would be responsible for the global implementation and commercialization of renewable thermoplastic polymers for stiff packaging.
Owen said for the last 20 years, she’s been known as the “Material Girl” because she worked with armor, fibers and plastic materials. She said she loves her job, knows the end results and loves coming up with commercialization techniques.
Since she became a team player for Armor Holdings, Owen has had to overcome several challenges, seen the assimilation of two acquisitions, managed the site’s growth and dealt with vendors within the technology and equipment industry. Her biggest challenge to date was the staffing of the plant.
Why Is Tensylon Such A Hot Topic
There’s a lot of interest in Tensylon because of its similarities to other high-performance materials including but not limited t:
What makes Tensylon so worthwhile is its exclusive combination of structural and ballstic performance. When you look at the cost and weight savings, there are not like the others.
The polyethylene that Tensylon uses is a powder, which is often subjected to high amounts of pressure and controlled temperatures as it goes through the rollers and is made into a thin sheet that’s slit into form fibers. These fibers are either laid or interlaced parallel in the same plane and cross-plied at angles to each other to generate a specially-designed composite, all based upon the application requirements.
Owen said it’s got the ability and strength to absorb energy. It can float in water, and is both abrasion and chemically-resistant. It’s extremely strong and resilient.
Unlike nylon, Tensylon won’t stretch and it has no creep properties. For that reason, it can be used to tie down offshore oil platforms sitting on the ocean floor. It can also be used for:
• Sporting goods
• High performance sails
Johnson & Johnson uses one kind of it to make it “Reach” dental floss.
Still, the material’s more immediate uses have been to protect troops, used in helmets, body armor and wheeled-vehicle systems.
Owen said the technology is young but the team is proud to be the leader in Tensylon’s development, production and marketing to protect troops in combat.
The plant in Monroe currently makes 100,000 pound of polyethylene fiber every month. Additional growth will ensure that number doubles.
How BAE Systems Has Been Helping The Military
The tradition for BAE Systems is to support the military, which is done by using current technology and innovation. In fact, this system goes back all the way to 1560 when the Royal Powder Factory began in Essex, England. Today, the Land and Armaments operating ground includes a number of operations across the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden and South Africa.
BAE Systems has an ever-increasing key role to protect troops on the front-line of both Afghanistan and Iraq – protecting them from ambushes and roadside bombs with the manufacturing and production of three kinds of vehicle for the MRAP armored-vehicle program for the U.S. Department of Defense. This program is currently being headed by the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Pentagon’s top priority is to get MRAPs so that today’s threats are handled. BAE Systems-designed and created vehicles account for over 4,300 of nearly more than 6,000 that have been ordered to date. The possible defense requirements could exceed 20,000 vehicles.
Tensylon can be used by troops for personal protection as well – helmets and armor.
The panels of Tensylon keep its stiffness and won’t fail near as easily as other polyethylene composites after it’s been hit. Therefore, this material is considered better in performance and ideal for protecting troops in their armored vehicles.
Owen compared the material to a catcher’s mitt. Both the aluminum shell and outer steel will become deformed and slow down the projectile, but the Tensylon panels inside will absorb the spall that comes from the impact the projectile making, stopping the secondary projectiles.
Owen said although Tensylon has distinctive characteristics for non-armor and armor use, most of the property concentration has been for the military. Therefore, she said, it could be beneficial for the commercial side of life but that has yet to be looked into. Owe said the immediate need is to deal with the needs of the military – both domestically and overseas.
She said in the long range scheme of things Tensylon manufacturing is expecting to continue its growth. Owen said the growth could cause other plants to generate more of the unique fiber.
DuPont Markets Tensylon-Designed Products
DuPont markets the Tensylon product, and began doing so in 2013. During IDEX 2013, it was launched as the largest international defense exhibition. DuPont’s Tensylon ballistic products ensures the company produces additional ballistic answers for hard ballistic segments such as vehicle panels, helmets, shields and insert plates.
High ballistic protection and low weight of Dyneema® will equip South Korean defense personnel more effectively for future challenges
South Korea, 5 Aug 2014 – DSM Dyneema, the inventor and manufacturer of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber, branded as Dyneema®, and world leader in life protection materials and high performance fibers, is proud to announce that Dyneema® will be used as the ballistic protection material of choice and key solution for enhanced lightweight armor for the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Army Multi-purpose Body Armor Program.
We are extremely pleased that Dyneema® will be a ballistic protection material of choice for both vests and inserts for the multi-purpose body armor program in South Korea
, said Nicole Ng, Marketing Manager, Life Protection Segment, Asia Pacific, at DSM Dyneema. “Dyneema® provides multiple benefits as a lighter weight and more durable solution that does not compromise ballistic protection compared to conventional materials. It allows modern military defense personnel to carry more equipment, operate with greater agility, speed and comfort for longer periods of time.”
The Multi-Purpose Body Armor Program is part of South Korea’s efforts in soldier modernization, seeking to equip defense personnel with lightweight armor that provides enhanced protection over a large area of the body, thus increasing protection and survivability.
This multi-year program will see the Republic of Korea Army equipped with bullet-resistant vests and insert panels that incorporate UHMwPE uni-directional material from DSM Dyneema, capable of protecting against a wide range of ballistic threats including fragments and rifle ammunitions. Production of the bullet-resistant vests and inserts will start this year.
Shitij Chabba, Global Segment Director, Life Protection at DSM Dyneema said: “The adoption of composite materials in general, and Dyneema® in particular, meets the needs for soldier modernization programs for life protection around the world, and the South Korean Multi-purpose Body Armor program is another testament to DSM Dyneema’s innovative success. With our expanded product portfolio and advanced innovation platform, DSM Dyneema continues to lead the market by offering our customers globally the opportunity to significantly reduce body armor weight while maintaining enhanced ballistic protection.”
He added: “In the region, through DSM Dyneema’s Asia Pacific Technical Center in Singapore, we are strongly committed to working closely with our Asia Pacific partners and customers to effectively drive innovative developments with Dyneema® to protect and save more lives – we are With You When It Matters.”
HighCom Security, Inc., a leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of USA made hard body armor and related personal protective solutions, today announced that HighCom has become the first company in the world to achieve BA 9000 certification, a new National Institute of Justice (NIJ) body armor quality management standard. Certification was granted by Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc.
As explained in PoliceOne.Com by NIJ Program Manager Michael O’Shea, “BA 9000 is a body armor quality management systems standard that is an extension of ISO 9001, a standard for quality management from the International Organization for Standardization. If a manufacturer’s location is certified to BA 9000, it provides greater confidence that the armor is being produced consistently. Conformance with BA 9000 will be inspected by accredited certification bodies. The NIJ ballistic body armor Compliance Testing Program (CTP) worked with ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) to develop the applicable accreditation rule in order to accredit interested certification bodies.” Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc. was the first ANAB accredited certification body for the BA 9000 standard.
“Recognition and acceptance of NIJ standards has grown worldwide, making NIJ standard certification the performance benchmark for ballistic-resistant body armor,” said Mike Bundy, President of HighCom Security. “Each piece of equipment that is manufactured and distributed by HighCom receives thorough quality inspections through our ISO 9001:2008 certified QMS (Quality Management System). BA 9000 which is an extension of ISO 9001, is specific to ballistics-resistant body armor manufacturing and testing. While this standard is voluntary, HighCom believes this additional certification is critical. It ensures that manufacturers provide procedures for communicating with CTP, including unique identification for each piece of the body armor to ensure accountability; that work areas are managed in order to reduce negative effects on body armor; and that product testing must be completed at CTP approved labs, which need to be ISO 17025 compliant. Quality is extremely important to us and that is why we are continuously improving our processes and procedures along with resources to ensure higher performing and cost effective solutions for the marketplace. This is also the main reason why we have sought to become BA 9000 certified.”
Patrick Lowry of Perry Johnson Registrars, Inc., a full-service registrar that carries multiple international accreditations including BA 9000, stated that “the purpose of a Body Armor Quality Management System (BA-QMS) is to provide additional confidence that manufacturers are managing body armor processes appropriately to better meet the needs of law enforcement officers and the requirements of the NIJ CTP. Certification to a standard such as BA 9000 is an indicator of a quality product. This is a great advantage in an industry where quality could be the difference between life and death.”
About HighCom Security, Inc.
HighCom Security, Inc. (“HighCom”) is a leading provider of high performance and affordable body armor, personal protective equipment, and armor systems and related accessories. The Company’s ballistic solutions have been deployed to hundreds of thousands of operators worldwide, including the U.S. Armed Forces, Allied forces, Federal Government Agencies, in addition to law enforcement and corrections, and other security personnel, both domestically and abroad.
Clark County firefighters are receiving hundreds of sets of body armor so they can treat victims even before police stop an active shooter.
A grant from the Department of Homeland Security is helping buy 466 sets of armor and helmets. Officials say Clark County is the first in the country to receive the equipment through the grant.
Existing protocol calls for firefighters to wait until police have cleared an area before coming to help the victims of mass shootings and other attacks. Groups including the U.S. Fire Administration say the policy is causing life-threatening delays in treatment, and are calling for bulletproof equipment that would allow firefighters to respond sooner.
The Clark County Fire Department’s jurisdiction includes the Las Vegas Strip and McCarran International Airport, the nation’s ninth busiest airport.
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., July 15, 2014 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that its Spectra Shield® ballistic material is being used as a critical component for body armor plates recently introduced by Reed Composite Solutions (RCS).
The ballistic material is being used in RCS’s AMURTM Models 3600 and 3610 rigid plates, which are inserted into law enforcement and military vests and have been specified or sold on six continents to date. The Spectra Shield material increases the bullet-stopping capability of the plates, while allowing for designs that are more comfortable for the wearer. Both AMUR models using Spectra Shield material are certified by the National Institute of Justice, multi-shot rated and provide protection against rifle threats. Thousands of these plates are currently in field.
“Honeywell has been at the forefront of bullet-resistant technology for militaries and a leader in developing ballistic materials for the U.S. law enforcement market for more than 20 years,” said Tim Swinger, global business manager for Honeywell’s Advanced Fibers and Composites business. “Our goal is to provide the strongest, lightest-weight materials that enable manufacturers, like Reed Composite Solutions, to develop armor solutions that provide the greatest comfort possible to those who risk their lives in the line of duty every day.”
Ryan Reed, president and managing member, Reed Composite Solutions said, “Using multiple grades of Spectra Shield material allowed us to achieve plate weights, trauma reduction numbers and threat protection never before seen in the industry. Our Model 3600 plate is the gold standard in value for neutrally buoyant Level III armor plates, and our Model 3610 provides ultimate protection for members of the military and law enforcement.”
Spectra Shield is a composite material made with Spectra® fiber, an ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene fiber that, pound for pound, is 15 times stronger than steel, yet light enough to float. With Honeywell’s patented Shield technology, parallel strands of synthetic fiber lying side by side are held in place with a resin system. Layers of the material are then cross-plied at right angles and fused into a composite structure under heat and pressure, allowing the material to stop projectiles more effectively and the energy of a projectile to rapidly dissipate along the length of the fiber upon impact.
Honeywell ballistic materials have been trusted to protect military and police forces around the world for more than two decades. In addition to bullet-resistant body armor plates, these materials are used in a variety of applications where lightweight strength is critical, including military and law enforcement vests, helmets and armored vehicles.
Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic materials research and development program focused on meeting increased demand for its high-performance materials for applications ranging from military and law enforcement to a wide variety of industrial and recreational applications, including rope and lifting slings, mooring lines, fishing line, sail cloth and security netting.
For more information about Honeywell Spectra Shield, visit www.honeywell-spectra.com.
The Burlington Police Department, three years after its involvement in a large-scale drug search that involved a Harden Street storage unit and recovering nearly $1.7 million in cash, it will receive its piece of the seizure.
Chief Jeffrey Smythe was recently presented with a $220,745 check from a U.S. marshal on behalf of the Department of Justice. And, with it, the department plans to purchase body armor.
How Did The Burlington Police Department Get Involved With The Investigation
The department became entwined with the investigation when they were alerted to the fact that an alleged drug trafficker was at the local Ramada Inn. Continuous surveillance on the suspect was carried out between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, 2011. They observed the suspect going to the unit L-12 at the U-Store-In on West Harden Street, then meet up with a number of unnamed Hispanic males before heading to the storage unit by way of a minivan.
The suspects were then observed unloading packages from the van. These packages were later identified as being cash. They then loaded the van with packages of alleged drugs. The police stopped the van and snatched more than 40 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, and got a court to sign off on a search warrant to investigate the storage unit. There, they took possession of $1,698,040 in of cash that was wrapped in plastic as well as an additional 58 kilograms of cocaine.
According to the Burlington Police Department, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration told the agency not to release the suspect’s name charged in connection to their investigation.
U.S. Marshal Bill Stafford, with Middle District of North Carolina, said the money seized from the investigation will be divided among 11 agencies, which also include the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and North Carolina Highway Patrol. Just one department outside the state will get funds, and that’s a California sheriff’s office.
Stafford said the strategic tool is the asset forfeiture program, as it helps to fight against crime and will take assets away from criminals if they gained it illegally.
How The Money Is Going To Be Used
The department plans on using $70,000 of the cash to buy new body armor, 80 of the bulletproof vests will have ceramic panels and ballistic helmets. Officers will wear the armor under their clothes and will withstand a pistol round.
However, Smythe said, it won’t stop rifle bullets from piercing the soft armor. He said the armor will stay in the police cars until officers are sent out to situations that call for their use.
Along with the money from the August 2011 investigation, the department gets regularly asset forfeiture money. He said the amounts vary from $150,000 to $300,000 a year, with some of the money going to the D.A.R.E. program.