Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Military uniforms which change properties in the works
Military uniforms which change properties in the works
10
Dec '12
Military uniforms of the future may offer a new layer of critical protection to wearers thanks to research by teams at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and several other institutions who are developing a nanotube-based fabric that repels chemical and biological agents.

UMass Amherst polymer scientists Kenneth Carter and James Watkins, collaborating with team leader Francesco Fornasiero of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently received a five-year $1.8 million grant to design ways to manufacture the new material as part of a $13 million project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It’s estimated that the new uniforms could be deployed in the field in less than 10 years.

The researchers say the fabric will be able to switch reversibly from a highly breathable state to a protective one in response to the presence of the environmental threat without the need for an external control system. In the protective state, the uniform material will block the chemical threat while maintaining a good breathability level. “The uniform will be like a smart second skin that responds to the environment,” says Fornasiero.

UMass Amherst polymer scientists bring expertise in additive-driven assembly processes that bring polymers and nano particles together to produce hybrid functional materials to the project. Membrane and layer fabrication will take place in part through the university’s Roll-to-Roll Nanofabrication Laboratory.

The new fabric’s reversibility is due to highly breathable membranes with pores made of a few-nanometer-wide, vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes modified with a functional surface layer designed to respond to the presence of a chemical warfare agent, says Watkins at UMass Amherst. The threat response would be triggered by direct chemical warfare agent attack. The fabric would switch to a protective state by closing the pore entrance or by shedding the contaminated surface layer.

For wearer comfort and safety, high breathability is a critical requirement for protective clothing to prevent heat stress when military personnel are engaged in missions in contaminated environments. To provide high breathability, the new composite material will take advantage of the unique transport properties of carbon nanotube pores, which offer gas transport rates two orders of magnitude faster than any other pore of similar size.

The polymer scientists point out that biological agents such as bacteria and viruses are close to 10 nanometers in size. Because the membrane pores on the uniform are only a few nanometers wide, these membranes will block such agents.

However, chemical agents such as mustard gas and nerve gas can be much smaller and require the membrane pores to be able to react to block that threat. To create a multifunctional membrane, the research team plans to modify the surface of the original prototype carbon nanotube membranes with chemical threat responsive functional groups. These functional groups sense and block the threat like gatekeepers on entrance.


Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

Provide safety net for cotton growers: Congress to Trump

A bipartisan Congressional coalition has called attention of...

Courtesy: ITMF

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

ITMF'17 themed on tech, trade, climate in disruptive times

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), an...

Textiles | On 20th Jul 2017

RIL’s Q1 FY18 petrochemicals revenue up 22.9% y-o-y

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reported its financial...

Interviews View All

Neel Sawhney
One Friday

‘The share of kidswear segment in the online sector is still small in...

Mukesh Agarwal & Rajesh Agarwal
Madhuram Fincap Pvt Ltd

Increasing prices and lack of demand main issues facing industry

Dinaz Madhukar
DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade

‘Each event and promotion is planned out keeping in mind the business of...

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Lynda Kelly
Suominen Corporation

Suominen Corporation is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for...

Eric Scholler
Groz-Beckert

The Indian market has huge potential in technical textiles, and by far,...

Robert Brunner
Devereux

Golfwear and menswear brand Devereux is set for greener pastures. Robert...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

July 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search



X