Customized Systems for Military Use
GelCool Systems has developed specialized cooling gel packs for military use. Our cooling gel packs allow military personnel to work in greater comfort with significantly greater endurance and mental focus in high temperature situations. In addition, these gel packs may be warmed for use in cold environments. The U.S. Army in Iraq reports using our large cooling packs for 45 minutes to one hour in the 120 degree summer heat. They also report improved helmet fit and comfort. Finally, commanders consistently commend GelCool product durability. One Lieutenant recently provided feedback from a long-term test stating "our guys can break anything, but your gel packs have survived it all". GelCool gel packs are very low cost to deploy, and require zero training.
Keep It Simple... Many types of military equipment are very high tech, and should be. But head cooling equipment is best kept simple. Other proposed head cooling systems involve bulky, power-hungry, heavy equipment that adds significant weight (8-26 pounds) to the soldier's uniform and have very poor performance and reliability (battery weight is becoming greater and greater to support these systems). So the soldier ends up carrying "dead weight" - a system that isnt working, but he can't shed it because it is fully integrated into his inner uniform layers. GelCool adds 7 ounces total to the infantry soldier's uniform. The bulk of the system weight is carried in the transport vehicle or by support personnel in the rear.
Each GelCool gel pack is designed to be reused hundreds of times
Simply drop the pack in the upper helmet and pop it out when you are ready for a new one
Military personnel rely on their helmets for life-saving protection, but the helmets interfere with the body's efforts to release 60% of its heat through the head. GelCool Systems will change the way military personnel work in the heat, especially when dismounted, without the size, weight, and power penalties associated with large active ventilation or powered cooling systems. GelCool's quick-change gel packs allow military personnel to maintain lower cranial blood temperature, which keeps them more alert and responsive, helps reduce the chance of heat stroke, and improves operational performance. Heat stroke, the serious medical condition resulting from acute heat stress, can disable military personnel at a time when the clear use of their mental faculties is most critical. GelCool gel packs pull heat away from the head at a safe 20 watts, which will not cause confusion in the body's thermoregulatory systems. And most importantly, as with all other GelCool products, proper helmet fit is maintained: this is crucial to a soldier's safety. Maximum ballistic protection is provided when the helmet fits as designed, low on the head, covering as much of the temple, side and rear of the head as possible. Only GelCool's specially designed gel packs allow the helmet to maintain this proper fit. Furthermore, the gel packs are designed and manufactured to withstand extremely rugged, high impact environments, having passed laboratory testing of over 300G impacts.
Heat Stress Alone Can Cause Rapid Loss of Mental Sharpness, Awareness, and Responsiveness
Since the lives of our military personnel depend upon their ability to remain sharp and respond quickly, any system which effectively keeps them cooler while not unduly hindering their movement or vision, is a major asset to them. Perspiration alone will not remove heat from the body. The perspiration must evaporate for the body to shed heat. The military uniform is designed to prevent the transfer of moisture, so it works against the body's need to evaporate sweat and retains much of the metabolic heat. Military MOPP/BDU/BDOs cannot perform the dual role of protecting the soldier and allowing sufficient moisture transfer for cooling. In this environment GelCool gel packs provide active cooling to the area of the cranium which has the greatest cooling effect on the brain (our most sensitive organ). While proper hydration remains the single most important component of heat stress management, GelCool Systems cooling gel packs play a meaningful role in keeping the soldier's mental faculties at their peak performance level. Troops face the challenges of Humvee heat and Humvee cooling daily - these challenges directly affect their performance.
GelCool MIL products are perfectly suited for use by the armed forces and consideration by key organizations such as the US Army’s AETF-1, Army OPTEC, the Marine Corps CBIRF, AFOTEC & Alamo Research, Headquarters AFCESA , and AF MEEP. SBCCOM. Tech Escort and a host of other armed forces organizations would also find our products very applicable.. These applications include, but aren't limited to personnel who wear MOPP2 / MOPP4 suits, EOD and other LBE ensembles, and AFCESA.
For more information on how GelCool Gel Packs work, please visit our Technical Overview page.
Designed for Ease of Use / Rapid Change Out :
True Micro-Climate Cooling
GelCool Systems gel packs do not impair movement or add significant weight to the helmet. They require minimal maintenance. All of our feedback from ground troops in Iraq shows that they are very comfortable using our packs. GelCool gel packs can be quickly removed and replaced. They are designed to seat properly in about 2 seconds and can be removed just as quickly.
Other companies offer small cloth pads that are placed in cold water or ice then attached to the helmet suspension by Velcro straps. These cloth pads can leak streams of water on the user's face, provide cooling for a very short period of time, and take several minutes to insert and remove. Some of these cloth pads have as many as eight Velcro ties that must be wrapped around the helmet's suspension webbing to hold them in place. Time matters in real world situations, so soldiers using our competition's Velcro-fastened cloth pad would likely leave the pad in the helmet all day long because they wouldn't have time to change it (it took our staffer over a minute to install while sitting in an air conditioned office, with no combat distractions). Meanwhile, the cloth pad's effective cooling period is probably only about one minute (they claim it "cools" for hours, but it actually only stays wet for hours, and becomes a hot liquid on top of the head as soon as its cooling period ends - about 1 minute in 100 degree weather). Quite simply, high heat environments require active cooling packs that can be changed easily and quickly.
Other large back pack cooling solutions being developed in the private sector promise integrated cooling for the head and torso, but have a very significant weight penalty (around 20 pounds) and cost several thousand dollars per soldier. GelCool Systems add a maximum of 7 ounces to the soldier's uniform/gear and cost about one tenth the cost of these more complex, heavy back pack systems.
The use of GelCool Systems Cooling Products is Only One Part of An Overall Heat Safety Program Which Must Include Proper Hydration. Please Read Our Entire Disclaimer.
GC213/GC32 MIL Camouflage Warmer/Coolers
for the Military
Several Larger, More Powerful Cooler Models are Available
Enhanced Impact and Ballistic Protection
Third-party lab testing has shown that the presence of a GelCool gel pack in the upper helmet reduces concussive forces to the helmet and head. Simply put, our gel moves before the brain moves. This literally acts as a schock absorber and provides meaningful reduction (attenuation) of concussive force.
The use of GelCool Systems gel packs inside the ACH may also provide additional ballistic protection to the soldier, though this lab testing has not been completed to date. The improved ballistic protection would be the result of placing GelCool System's near ballistic density gel (inside the gel pack: the gel pack's "horse shoe" shaped coolant reservoir) in a halo around the upper cranium. The gel's density and shock absorption characteristics could aid in slowing or stopping a projectile that had penetrated the ACH, and would provide cooling directly to the cranium in case of a head injury - this cooling has now been clearly proven to play a life-saving function in cases of head and spinal cord trauma. In lab testing with football helmets, our packs significantly attenuated impact energy - quite simply, our gel moves before the brain would move, acting as a shock absorber.
Also, GelCool gel packs are not attached to the head or helmet and are quickly interchangable (to a fresh, cold pack), so first responders could quickly place a fresh cold pack on the head or even elsewhere on the body where a cold pack would help in first aid treatment - the use of a GelCool system requires that fresh cold gel packs be on the ready in a cooler nearby, either in a Humvee, personnel carrier, fixed ground site, or portable equipment carried by support personnel. This offers military units a manageable and dependable means to not only provide head cooling but also have cold packs ready for first aid.
Complete Military Helmet Cooling Solution
GelCool Systems complete Military solution includes a hardened portable cooling system for mounting in Humvees and other personnel carriers.
We offer several cooler sizes and types. Our most powerful, rapid cooling steel-case R134 refrigerant-based coolers have shock mounted compressors and provide maximum cooling. Our thermoelectric cooler/warmers have a weight advantage and offer warming as well, though they do not provide the maximum rapid cooling of the refrigerant-based units. These 12 volt or 24 volt ruggedized cooling systems keep cool gel packs available to field personnel at all times. Finally, our portable coolers and gel pack carriers support personnel while outside vehicles. Our coolers are designed to carry from as few as 12 gel packs to as many as 100 gel packs in order to properly serve your application.
Our gel packs fit in most military helmets, including:
US Army ACH
TBH-IITM Side Cut
TBH-IITM Special Ops
SPH4 and Galet 250
GelCool Systems Overview of Head Cooling Physiology
1. Increased metabolic activity from exertion creates excess body heat.
2. Protective clothing inhibits the body’s ability to dissipate the excess heat.
3. GelCool Gel Packs cool cranial blood via thermal induction: blood carried throughout
peripheral cranial vessels becomes cooler as gel packs absorb heat while cooling the cranium.
4. With cooler blood circulating, metabolic activity is reduced(1) and brain function improved.
5. Reduced metabolic activity allows the body to slow vital organ activity (heart, lungs).(1)
6. Perspiration is reduced since the need to dissipate excess heat has fallen(1).
7. Reduced perspiration leads to reduced loss of electrolytes, which improves endurance.
8. Pulmonary function is eased, allowing greater oxygenation of the brain and muscles.
(1) Reduction in metabolic/vital organ activity and perspiration are only possible if the body's thermoregulatory systems determine that overall body temperature is within a safe range.