Alexium International Group Limited (ASX:AJX, AX:AJX, OTC QX:AXXIY) is pleased to announce that based on the exceptional performance of Alexium-treated fabrics submitted to Natick at the completion of Stage One of the "down selection" process of Natick's "Green Initiative" for new FR uniforms, Alexium has been selected to move to the second stage of the development process.
The United States Natick Soldier Systems Center is a branch of the U.S. Army, located in Natick, Massachusetts.
Natick provides testing and research & development into next-generation uniforms to enhance the survivability and performance capability of the modern warfighter in a cost effective solution.
The Green Initiative is Natick's plan to create next-generation FR, durable, halogen-free, 50/50 nylon-cotton (NYCO) fabric uniforms to replace expensive inherently FR fabrics.
"The very exciting aspect of this new FR effort," stated Dirk Van Hyning, Alexium's General Manager of Operations, "is that 50/50 NYCO is a universally favored fabric blend in the military, both in the US and overseas, given cost and fabric durability but before now, there was no effective FR solution for 50/50 NYCO.
"The Green Initiative seeking to use NYCO as the foundation fabric for FR uniforms holds immense potential for Alexium, given our award winning technology and patented solutions to make Nylon fire retardant"
This US Department of Defense (NYSEARCA:DOD) is seeking to use an FR coated 50/50 NYCO fabric, as the foundation fabric for garments across all branches of the U.S military.
This includes the standard Army Combat Uniform (NYSEMKT:ACU), the Flame-Retardant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU) and the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) along with similar programs in the Air Force and new programs for the Navy.
Several foreign militaries, including Israel and Turkey, are keen to move to 50/50 NYCO for FR protection for their soldiers.
The annual global military market for 50/50 NYCO FR coatings is in excess of $240M.
No technology has yet been able to durably provide FR protection for the warfighter in 50/50 NYCO fabrics.
Alexium is the first company to provide an FR coating solution to the DoD which can allow low-cost, environmentally-friendly, durable 50/50 NYCO to displace vastly more expensive inherently FR fabrics in the four major military branches.
Alexium's technology also offers the potential to allow standard issue non-combat uniforms to be made flame-retardant on a cost effective basis such that all defense sector personnel can have FR protection no matter where they are based.
The next down selection round is slated for September with a final selection before the end of 2015.
In this next phase, the wash requirements are made more demanding and other criteria are added.
"Alexium is confident we will meet all these additional performance requirements, said Alexium CEO Nicholas Clark.
"The selection of Alexium FR solutions to the second stage is a significant validation of not only the performance of our unique chemistries, but also our ability to adapt our proprietary chemistries to new textile substrates to meet cost and performance criteria.
"The closer we work with Natick, as well as continuing to produce a strong product, the more involved our relationship with Natick becomes, and the more we learn".
Alexium will keep the market informed as this project advances and a final decision is made.
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