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Ballistic lining fabric with Spectra fibre

Heathcoat Fabrics launches new lightweight ballistic lining fabric woven with high-strength Spectra fibre.

19th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Tiverton, United Kingdom


Leading UK-based textile manufacturer Heathcoat Fabrics has launched a unique ballistic lining textile incorporating the strength of Honeywell Spectra fibre. Heathcoat Outaskin is the result of a long-term collaborative agreement with Honeywell Inc., to develop a range of woven and knitted Spectra fibre fabrics for enhanced lightweight ballistic applications.

John Stimpson, Business Manager at Heathcoat Fabrics, comments: “It’s a fantastic feeling when you get the opportunity to bring a unique product into a prestigious industry with the added backing and support of such a well-known and respected company such as Honeywell.”

“Honeywell’s Spectra fibre is an incredibly strong ultra-high molecular polyethylene (UHMWPE). The fibre creates unique challenges for weavers, and Heathcoat has been working to overcome these challenges. The result is a growing range of lightweight woven textiles, which have been successfully trialled for ballistic and other specialist applications.”

Outaskin is the latest Spectra fibre innovation – a ballistic lining textile for use on the inner and outer surfaces of helmets, shields and ballistic plates. The Outaskin range introduces a wealth of product advantages. It offers excellent adhesion to moulded fabric and UD helmets, hand-held riot shields and other high performance moulded components. Additionally, the Outaskin textile has been optimised for adhesion to aramids and various types of ceramic plates.

Outaskin offers a lighter weight all-in-one solution compared to alternative current market options. The proven Spectra construction contributes to the overall ballistic performance of the finished product.

Outaskin is supplied ready coloured for immediate incorporation into the helmet or shield moulding process. This can mean significant cost reductions by eliminating the need to apply additional surface finish fabrics post cure. While it comes in black as standard there are other colour options available, including green, brown and UN blue.

The application of colour is intended to eliminate the need to apply additional paint, particularly for the inside of the helmet. Additional colour can be added, if necessary, post-production as the textile finish is paint receptive. Outaskin adds an aesthetically pleasing look and texture to finished products. Scuffs and scratches in subsequent use are less obvious and are more readily repaired.

Heathcoat Fabrics designs and manufactures Spectra textiles for all types of ballistic and fragmentation protection applications alongside its portfolio of supporting protective apparel textiles for military, civil defence, first responder and industrial applications.

The new fabric has received very positive industry feedback with immediate commercial sales after testing. Heathcoat’s in-house technical team can design additional variants to better suit a specific customer need if required.

Heathcoat Fabrics will be exhibiting at Milipol, Paris Nord Villepint, France from 19-22 October 2021, Booth No. 5J 188.

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