Protective suit specialist TST Sweden has signed a licensing agreement with fibre manufacturer DSM Dyneema that will enable them to use the Dutch company’s distinctive trademark on their multilayer water-jet protective suits made with the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene Dyneema fibre.
TST says Dyneema is not only the strongest material, but also the lightest, to be used in suits to protect operators using water jets operating at up to 2000 bar in hydro demolition and water blasting applications. The combination of high strength and low weight is also said to provide an unmatched level of comfort for the operator. Dyneema fibres are already widely used in the production of high performance cut-resistant gloves but TST Sweden is the first company to use them to make protective suits and to receive a license to use the Dyneema brand.
The suits, developed in a collaborative project by TST together with the Swedish research institute Swerea, and supported by DSM Dyneema, are radically different from competing suits that are made up from interlinked rigid panels in a monolayer structure. Instead, the TST suits comprise several layers of flexible fabric, with inner layers of Dyneema fibre sandwiched between outer layers of a nylon fabric. Here, the level of protection can be adjusted by varying the number of layers of Dyneema used in any particular suit.
This means that TST suits can be tailored to the exact protection level required for any particular type of work. According to TST, competing suits are only available at the higher levels of protection of 2000 bar, which means for many water-jet uses traditional suits are over-specified. TST suits made with Dyneema now enable tailor-made suits that are precisely fit-for-purpose in terms of the protection level required, thereby also optimizing wearer comfort and manoeuvrability. The company says a further advantage of the suits made with Dyneema is that they are easy to wash.