Halco USA is a leading supplier of mil-spec hook and loop for manufacturers of products in the military and law enforcement market.
The company is privately owned and headquartered in California, from where they supply their Halco branded fastening products and provide customized hook and loop converting and fabrication services for the North American market, including Canada, Mexico and Central America.
BodyArmorNews.com had the opportunity to interview Mr. Guy Fussell, General Manager of Halco USA, Mr. Murray Fussell, Marketing and Sales Executive and Mr. Doug Seim, Halco Research & Development.
Mil-Spec Hook and Loop Fasteners and Converting Services
There are two sides to the business: Halco sells specialty hook and loop fasteners and offers converting and fabrication services of these materials into customized components for their manufacturing customers. Halco’s military and law enforcement customers use both services.
Halco’s branded portfolio of specialty mil-spec hook-and-loop fasteners are key components in the manufacture of body armor, helmets and emergency medical response products. Common uses of Halco’s hook and loop fasteners within these segments are fasteners for uniform and apparel including pouches, bags and holsters; body armor products including ballistic vests and helmets and defence-related EMR products such as tourniquets and patient positioning straps.
Customisable Fasteners for Ballistic Vests
“The first example is of one of our clients,” Mr. Guy Fussell explained, “They are a leading North American manufacturer of ballistic vests and other body armor equipment. They had a particular application where they needed a fastener with a high peel strength and sheer strength, which needed to also look good.
They wanted something different from what the rest of the market was doing. Halco was able to develop a product for this customer that not only met the requirements for performance. It included a product where the company’s logo could actually be printed.
“This involved a year of designing and testing prototypes. Halco was able to set up a program for the supply of this product, involving a stock program in California to overcome some of the supply chain issues. There was a consistent supply of product so the manufacturing was not shut down and ran smoothly through COVID.”
High-Quality Fasteners in Ballistic Helmets
Halco also supplies customized mil-spec hook and loop fasteners to ballistic helmet manufacturers. Mr. Murray Fussell elaborated on this application and spoke of specific use-cases where Halco has worked with these manufacturers.
“For one customer of ours,” Mr. Fussell explained, “We die cut loop patches that adhere onto the top of the helmet. The user then uses these loop tabs to attach battery packs, lights and accessories onto their helmet.
“It’s very common to find loop material on ballistic and tactical helmets from many different manufacturers globally. To adhere these patches, we work a lot with 3M, which is a leading manufacturer of pressure sensitive adhesives.
“For this ballistic helmet use case, we chose a 3M adhesive which sticks well to the aramid, HDPE and epoxy laminate surface of the helmet and guarantees the customer a high-quality product. These helmets go through a lot of action. They get banged up in the field, in the back of trucks, etc., so it must be a durable adhesive that securely holds the loop to the helmet.
“There are three important ways we add value. Firstly, we dye-to-match the helmet colour. Secondly, we custom laminate the specialty adhesives to the hook and loop. The third is our die cutting and converting capabilities. We kiss-cut the product to a custom shape and leave it on the release liner to improve manufacturing productivity. In this way, we enhance our client’s unique designs, productivity and quality.”
Tourniquets for Ukraine
With the ongoing war in Ukraine, emergency medical supplies such as tourniquets are more important now than ever. Halco supplies the leading tourniquet manufacturers worldwide with a mixed hook and loop product that is integral to tourniquet design.
“The fastener is an integral part of the tourniquet,” Mr. Doug Seim said, “It doesn’t work without the fasteners. Since it is a life-saving product, every second counts. This is a product that can never afford to fail.
There has been a global shortage on these products. As a result, Halco has been working, not only with the manufacturers, but also with small fabrication shops. We’ve been shipping a lot of products to Europe and Ukraine, and donating some of these products.”
To learn more about Halco USA’s mil-spec hook and loop fasteners, specialty fasteners and converting services for body armor manufacturers or to receive a sample of their military grade fasteners, please visit https://www.halcousa.com/.