Dow Corning Wins Prestigious Techtextil Innovation Award

Dow Corning® Active Protection System takes New Applications prize

MIDLAND, MICHIGAN, USA - An eight-member jury of leading textile experts named the Dow Corning® Active Protection System as a 2007 Techtextil Innovation Award winner in the New Applications category. The award was presented June 11 in the Congress Center Messe in Frankfurt, Germany.

The patented Active Protection System is a unique "smart" technical textile that provides an unprecedented combination of defense and comfort for personal impact-protection applications. It remains soft and flexible under normal conditions, but hardens instantly upon impact to absorb and distribute energy over the entire protective area. When the impact force is removed, the material immediately returns to a flexible state.

First introduced in March 2006 at Techtextil in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the Active Protection System has quickly caught the attention of apparel manufacturers, conference organizers, professional sporting goods associations, and even the commercial sports media.

"For years, athletes and outdoor enthusiasts have sought high-performance sports apparel and equipment that protect them against high-energy impacts without sacrificing flexibility, breathability, or ease of use," says Liz Mallen, Ph.D., Dow Corning's business development manager for impact protection. "We are honored and thrilled that a highly respected global industry organization like Techtextil recognizes the significant innovation and huge potential of this new, groundbreaking technology."

Because it is a fabric, the Active Protection System marks a pioneering advancement in impact protection. Potential applications are virtually unlimited in protective sports and work apparel, industrial and geo fabrics, protective medical devices, architecture and construction, and security and civil defense.

While Dow Corning envisions an entire range of products tailored to specific application requirements, their initial focus has been on uses that require high levels of impact performance and comfort. The fabric's unique combination of benefits makes it particularly suitable for use in high-performance protective apparel and equipment:

o It is very breathable and flexible for outstanding comfort and freedom of movement.
o It can be stitched directly into garments, eliminating the need to insert and remove components.
o It is less bulky than hard armor, allowing for many creative and fashionable design possibilities.
o It can be layered, so the garment can be customized to provide increased levels of protection for specific areas.
o It is washable for easy care and maintenance.

In October 2006, Rukka, a Finland-based manufacturer of sports apparel, launched the first commercially available product to use Active Protection System fabric: the SRO Anatomic motorcycle riding suit. This product has also been honored with an Innovation Award from Avantex, the International Forum for Innovative Apparel Textiles. Avantex runs concurrently with Techtextil.

More recently, Swiss sports apparel maker Mammut incorporated Active Protection System fabric as the key protective component in its new Nirvana Protection Vest. Mammut launched the ski vest in early February at ispo, the International Trade Show for Sports Equipment and Fashion in Munich, Germany.

Because it offers the versatility of a textile, the Active Protective System provides many exciting design possibilities for manufacturers. It can be integrated easily into garments using traditional cutting and sewing techniques. It can also be layered to help protect any part of the body with maximized protection without compromising the appearance of the final article.

"The Active Protection System marks a huge leap forward in personal impact protection," says Mallen. "We believe it is the most effective and versatile technology available today - a true 'fabric of the future' that can substantially improve the quality of life for people all over the world in many different ways."
Dow Corning has been a leader in silicone material science for over 60 years. To learn more about the Dow Corning Active Protection System, go to Visit to learn more about Dow Corning's full range of innovative products, services, and technology solutions for the textile industry.

Techtextil Innovation Awards, which are offered in five categories, go to outstanding achievements in research, materials and product development, and new technology. For more information about Techtextil, visit

Dow Corning ( provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation that offers more than 7,000 products and services, Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States.

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Dow Corning is a registered trademark of Dow Corning Corporation.
We help you invent the future is a trademark of Dow Corning Corporation.

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