Military personnel must often operate in extreme heat environments, or with a complex assemblage of protective and survival gear that impede the body’s natural cooling mechanisms and lead to heat stress. The U.S. Army reports that there are 2-3 heat-related soldier deaths each year – along with many more cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. During training or active missions that require protection from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazards, operators wear impermeable suits that have the added effect of trapping hot air and moisture close to the body, leading to an even greater risk of cognitive problems, heat exhaustion, cramping, heat stroke, and even cardiac arrest from excessive body temperatures.
Cooling Garments are a relatively new solution to this challenge that can fight heat stress and improve mission outcomes. Although Microclimate Cooling Garments (MCGs) and the Environmental Control Vests (ECVs) have been in use for several years, it’s clear that improvements in design and materials are needed. The Army turned to Oceanit to design a garment with better performance, fit, and weight, all of which improve usability and adoption rates.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the USAASC Air Warrior group selected Oceanit to develop a higher-performing, lightweight garment that exceeds the specifications of the currently-used MCG and ECV gear. Answering the call, Oceanit created the most effective Liquid Cooling Garments (LCGs) available today.
The key innovation is ThermoCore®, a proprietary nano-polymer material with thermal conductivity tuned for the human body, allowing for efficient heat transfer between the body and coolant running through ThermoCore tubes embedded in the garment. The use of this patent-pending material provided the requisite Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) advantage during missions and also extracted heat from the wearer more efficiently.
Oceanit’s LCG design delivered an improved compressive fit, allowing Army warfighters to wear it as a base layer without adding bulk or sacrificing mobility. The ThermoCore tubing layout provides a comfortable fit with optimized torso placement and body contact. Furthermore, a custom manifold allows for connecting of additional accessories such as balaclava, shorts, pants, or sleeves.
With support from USARIEM and DEVCOM, Oceanit’s LCG was tested and proved a radical improvement in performance and reduction in weight when compared to the currently-used garments. ThermoCore was tested against existing cooling garments and provided 30%-40% higher heat extraction while being 15% lighter. The novel garments will now move to field evaluation and use, leading to better mission outcomes and fewer heat-related injuries.
Drawing on the seven+ years of research and development that went into creating ThermoCore, Oceanit is now exploring advanced personal cooling for the consumer market. As global heat waves increase in frequency and intensity, Oceanit’s team realized that climate is impacting both comfort and health during work and recreation – and that it’s going to take more than a sun hat or wicking t-shirt to combat the heat.
Oceanit created 19⁰N, a brand focused on utilizing ThermoCore technology to design personal cooling innovations for work, recreation, and leisure activities in the rapidly warming climate. 19⁰N’s advanced cooling packs and garments take novel materials honed with the military and create game-changing garments for the future hotter of work, recreation, and outdoor leisure as the world progresses into a more extreme climate.
To learn more about 19⁰N and the new Honu active cooling pack, visit the 19⁰N website: