A new law signed by the US Congress will safeguard the continued sale of hi-tech supplier TenCate's Defender M fabric for the US military.

The amendment to the Department of Defense Authorisation Act 2008 allows the import of flame retardant (FR) rayon fibre, made by Lenzing AG of Austria and a key component of Defender M.

It exempts some countries from the Berry Amendment, which requires the US Defense Department to buy US-made products.

"The new bill ensures the longer-term legality of FR rayon fibre and Defender M product for American military use," said TenCate.

"The inclusion of the waiver in the newly passed bill highlights the strategic importance and the critical need for reliable material suppliers that are able to deliver large volumes of flame-protective fabrics for military clothing."

Defender M aims to protect military personnel from attacks with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. TenCate has been officially commended by the US Marine Corps for its work in this area.

Meanwhile, Lenzing is investing in new production capacity to increase the supply of Defender M to other armed forces.

TenCate has been limited in its ability to supply these customers in the past, because of the large volumes needed by the US military.