Mission Possible – Cooling Down the Soldier in Body Armour

A Soldier in a Hot Environment

Soldiers can work in extreme conditions, where different negative influences from the surrounding area act on them. Besides high temperatures above 30°C, there is also the possibility of fire, water, dust, and mechanical loads.

One of the greatest problems occurs during thermal overload as the consequence of exposure to the weight of the equipment and the hours of activity. This means that when performing work in a warm environment, the temperature range of the human core (between 36°C and 38°C), as well as the temperature on the skin surface (between 20°C and 35°C), can change very quickly.

Slight deviations from the normal condition are acceptable for short periods of time, however, long-term exposure to heat can have a negative impact. Dangerous situations, injuries and perhaps even death are possible, the reasons for which have often been studied.

Mostly, the soldiers’ uniforms do not ensure the optimal thermal balance which could prevent overheating. This area is still the subject of numerous researches. Progress continues towards passive (zero-energy) and active cooling systems, optimising the user-friendly and functional use in order to abolish the deficiencies, such as the reactivation of the cooling effect, unfriendly handling, difficult maintenance and use with other layers of the clothing system.

Passive Systems for Cooling

The passive systems for cooling down soldiers, developed in cooperation with the army and the police at Prevent & Deloza especially for wearing under ballistic protection, are suitable for use in any weather and any climate zone.

The Prevent & Deloza system is composed of knitwear, that efficiently extracts heat and moisture from underneath the ballistic protection. Additional functional material provides the quickest evaporation of excess moisture and ensures an adequate extraction and storage of excessive heat. Already, the system manufactured in this way, substantially reduces the heat load on a person. By adding the evaporative part of the system, we ensure cooling of the person wearing ballistic protection, namely by an additional 3°C already after thirty minutes of activity.

From a functional perspective, in extremely hot environmental conditions, the simplest and the most efficient products are recommended, regarding handling, maintenance, mobility and reactivation of cooling. An example of such products are systems of material combinations, integrated into cooling shirts, under-helmet hoods, trouser legs and elbow pads. The cooling effect lasts for more than 12 hours of active use, then the cooling pads are simply soaked in water, and the effect of cooling is reactivated. This means that only cold water is required to use the product.

Such products not only help to maintain normal body temperature but also protect the user from possible burn injuries.

Developed solutions

Products for cooling will also be presented at this year’s largest military event, DSEI 2017 in London, England. Usage is recommended for the entire military personnel in different parts of the world, where soldiers are exposed to heat loads. We produce combat shirts, shirts with ballistic protection, ballistic vests and helmet inlays.

It is of course very important that the user is introduced to these products as well as the application methods and maintenance before using them in an extreme working environment. Knowing the functional operation of the systems in such equipment enables the users to help themselves and thereby prevent heat overload.

It is important to emphasise that the systems offered by Prevent & Deloza, do not require any energy or special maintenance protocol. The training for use takes less than 2 minutes.