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Temperature responsive fibers for variable loft insulation

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
200 BOSTON AVE STE 1000 MEDFORD, MA 02155-4242
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Temperature responsive fibers for variable loft insulation
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: W911QY-04-C-0010
Award Amount: $702,978.00


Current clothing systems work on the principle of layering and are very effective. They do have the disadvantage, however, of being bulky and complex because they are usually made up of many parts. These problems are serious enough for the soldier thatmust carry them to warrant a constant effort in the development of fabrics for the design of smart systems that are able to cover a wide range of temperatures with a single, or at most a couple of garments. In Phase I Mid¿ proposed to investigate thefeasibility of a system based on the use of novel fiber design and advanced materials that would solve this problem. The basic idea was to design and optimize structure to produce fibers capable of transitioning from a flat to a three-dimensional shape.With the correct design, a network of fibers would result in a self-regulating fabric that can gradually transition from a flat, low-loft, low-R, configuration to a sufficiently high-loft, high-R, configuration. In Phase II Mid¿ proposes to develop itsdemonstrated concept into a commercial prototype.Variloft will not only solve the needs of the US Army by providing a self-regulating garment that requires no external power or specialized training for use, but will also present an opportunity to improvethe quality of thermal protection technology for the outdoor, sport, rescue and medical industries.One of the direct benefits of this technology, that is applicable to all the markets mentioned above, will be the reduction of complexity in current layered systems and the coupled reduction in weight that must be carried by the user. Another benefit isthe regulation of thermal transfer that depends not only on the external environment, but also on the internal environment. This effectively regulates temperature by balancing the ratio of body heat generation with heat absorption, which means that iddoes not only limit heat loss, but also heat buildup.A further benefit is that the manufacturing tools and processes required for manufacture are the same as those used for other bicomponent nonwovens.

Principal Investigator:

Marco Serra
Senior Engineer

Business Contact:

Petra Botha
Chief Financial Officer
Small Business Information at Submission:

200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000 Medford, MA 02155

EIN/Tax ID: 043066318
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No