Supplying textiles to our military forces isn’t new for Heathcoat Fabrics; they have been supporting British troops with textiles since the early 20th century and NATO in later years.
Today, the major Mid Devon employer draws on the skills of its local workforce to produce one of the largest ranges of military approved textiles.
Heathcoat’s on-site specialist team are continuously developing military grade fabrics and now offer material for use in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protective suits. Our fabric uses a layer impregnanted with activated carbon which acts as an absorption layer to the harmful toxins.
A new venture with Honeywell, has ensured superior ballistic and fragmentation protection by combining the specialist Spectra Fibres (the world’s strongest yet most lightweight man-made fibre) with Heathcoat’s advanced manufacturing abilities.
Heathcoat also provide flame retardant fabrics, incorporating specialist yarns, fibres, and finishes. These have been used by troops operating in tanks and aircraft. Similar fabrics have also been used in applications for the police and fire service.
The company offers a wide range of textiles for using in military vehicles such as a new innovative seating solution in NATO tanks. Unlike predecessors, these seats are made from suspended fabric, like a hammock, and in 2016 and again in 2017, ‘the Leopard’, currently the only tank using this technology, came top in NATO’s tank challenge. This revolutionary development protects soldiers against high impact shockwaves. The company also provides materials that contribute to the suspension in fast moving armoured vehicles, and composite textiles used in military helicopters.
Heathcoat parachute fabrics began production prior to the second world war. Their Superlight brand is dedicated to producing strong yet extremely lightweight parachutes. This has been particularly effective for use in decoys. The decoy systems operates on size: the larger the decoy, the more effective. The Superlight parachute fabric allows extra fabric to be packed into a tight space, so when the missile-like decoy is released and expands, the parachute allows for a larger surface area to be detected by opposing radars. Military issue parachute deployment fabrics are used to both evacuate our troops from military planes and helicopters, and are also used for load deployment.
The factory is currently developing a new range of advanced fire retardant textiles for firefighter use in both civil and military areas. These fabrics will reduce the risk when facing hazardous fire environments and offer the wearer a higher level of protection. More information about this exciting venture will be released closer to product launch.