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Australian company returns to USA to showcase world-first rubber product

Australian company TCRT has returned to the USA this week to showcase its ground-breaking, fire-retardant rubber product at one of the world’s biggest military shows.

Sydney-based TCRT first introduced its world-first Linagard® Ballistics Fire Retardant (FR)TM rubber at the AUSA (Association of the United States Army) Exposition in Washington in October 2019, which was attended by 30,000 visitors.

Due to the overwhelming interest, TCRT is returning to the USA this week, attending the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) SHOT Show in Las Vegas from 21-24 January.

TCRT Chief Technical Officer Clive Blair said: “Overall, we’ve had a superb response in the USA, with a lot of excitement in the flexibility of the rubber to be used in other applications over and above shooting ranges, all of which has resulted in numerous requests for quotes.

“The level of interest has been outstanding, far beyond our expectations, and we’re excited to be back in the USA to further showcase the product,” said Mr Blair.

“On the back of the AUSA show, we have had global interest from government and the private sector. The bulk of this interest revolves around military vehicle manufacture and shooting ranges. A number of attendees at the AUSA show will also be attending the SHOT Show and have pre-arranged meetings with TCRT to firm up orders and next steps.”

The rubber product, which is manufactured for TCRT by Weir Minerals, one of the foremost manufacturers of rubber in the world, has already been identified as revolutionary for shooting ranges and military services worldwide.

Some of the main uses for the product include:

  • Ballistic curtains

  • Backstop panels

  • Live fire curtains

  • Bullet resistant panels

  • Fuel bladders and tank linings

  • Spalling linings

  • Target systems

  • Armoured vehicle production

  • Inflatable products

  • Specialised ballistic material composites.

The highly-technical rubber has undergone successful trials with both the United States Army and the Australian Army.

“As a company specialising in developing products for both military and industrial use, we’ve worked with Weir Minerals to create a rubber that we think is revolutionary for military and industrial use,” said Mr Blair.

“In addition to being fire retardant, it’s also non-toxic, and UV and ozone stable, making it ideal for outdoor applications, particularly environmentally sensitive ones.

“There really is nothing else like it anywhere in the world. The level of interest in the rubber reinforces how Australia can lead the way globally in technological development.”

Linagard Ballistics FR rubber’s exciting and unique properties include:

  • fire retardant - UL94 certified

  • capable of stretching 833% its length

  • contains NO toxic halogens

  • has a International Rubber Hardness Degree (IRHD) of 42

  • UV and ozone stable making it suitable for indoor and outdoor use

  • highly wear and cut resistant

  • oil and chemical resistant

  • successfully shot with incendiary and tracer rounds.

Linagard Ballistics FR rubber was initially intended to be used as shooting range curtains and wall linings to reduce the number of incidents where shooting ranges and shoot houses have caught alight and suffered catastrophic fire damage.

Mr Blair said a key accelerant in the shooting range fires has been the rubber used in each of these environments.

“Progressively, the military and shooting ranges are demanding that any rubber used in such environments must demonstrate flame retardant characteristics,” said Mr Blair.

The rubber has undergone successful testing with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, including the use of tracer and incendiary rounds.

The product has also been identified as revolutionary for industrial protective matting (welding, grinding and plasma cutting), fire protection barriers, and many other possible applications. It is been extensively used in industrial application particularly where there is a requirement to protect sensitive equipment from welding spatter and plasma cutting dross.

Upcoming products include a range of swing targets, rubber falling targets, and specialist personal protection products.

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