Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 14

BRIEFINGS

SWATCHES

Peak performance lava gear

W

Protective gear made for research
work at volcanoes combines movable,
breathable fabric with flame-resistant
Kevlar®. Photo: University of Missouri.

hat does one wear when working on an active volcano near lava ranging
from 1,300 to 2,000° F? It's a real dilemma for volcanologists-geologists
who study the formation and eruptive activity of volcanoes.
Alan Whittington, chair of Geological Sciences at the University of Missouri,
was vexed by this dilemma for nearly a decade after he was stuck overnight on a
volcano in Guatemala and longed for comfortable, durable protective clothing.
Whittington shared his ideas with Pamela Norum, chair of the Department
of Textile and Apparel Management, who shared them with her department.
Abby Romine, a graduate student, took on the challenge to develop outerwear
that is both practical and stylish.
Romine started by meeting with geology students to get an idea of what
was needed. She used fabric donated by FirstSpear®, a St. Louis, Mo.-based
tactical gear company, to create prototype lava suits for Whittington and his
graduate students. She interwove a breathable lightweight fabric with strips
of Kevlar®, which offers abrasion and flame resistance.
The team field-tested the suits during a research trip to Colorado and
found them comfortable and practical. In fact, Whittington describe the
pants as the most comfortable field pants he has ever worn. Romine plans
to have her designs produced by FirstSpear. For more information, visit
www.news.missouri.edu.

Use your head: safer cycling

I

t's foldable, it's lightweight and it can take multiple impacts. That's
the beauty of a bike helmet made with a specially designed flexible
material. The Hedkayse One was developed by Tony Walker and
Andy Creak, two university friends who started their U.K. company
Hedkayse to build a better bike helmet-one that could take a beating
and continue to protect the wearer.
A typical helmet made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) protects
upon impact, but it can crack or shatter while absorbing the hit,
rendering it useless. Hedkayse One is made of Enkayse, a unique
proprietary multi-impact liner material that works like memory foam.
It takes the impact, dissipating energy rather than deforming, so it can
expand back to its original shape.
Tough enough to conform to the European EN1078 safety standard,
Hedkayse One's outer shell is made of engineered rip-proof military
grade nylon to keep it strong and easily washable. Coming in at about
one pound, the single-size helmet adjusts easily with a Velcro™ strap to
fit head sizes from 19 to 22 inches. A patented quick-release adjustable
ratchet chinstrap makes it easy to remove in any conditions.
Available in five colors, the helmet also features a patented folding
design that reduces its width by 50 percent, and comes with a bag
and wrap strap that keeps it flattened and easy to store. For more
information, visit www.hedkayse.com.
14 REVIEW FEBRUARY 2020

Made to tolerate multiple
impacts, the Hedkayse One
withstood more than 100 highspeed impacts in laboratory
tests. Photo: Hedkayse.


http://www.news.missouri.edu http://www.hedkayse.com

Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - Cover2
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