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Thermally Responsive Fibers for Environmentally Adaptive Textiles


TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

OBJECTIVE: The development of novel fibers or textiles weaves or other insulation material that is environmentally responsive such that at low temperatures the novel material will provide a higher Clo value and at increased temperatures the novel material will exhibits reduced Clo value.  The reactive material will physically react to temperature changes in its surrounding environment as well as body temperature.

DESCRIPTION: The current cold weather garment system is comprised of multiple layers providing different levels of cold and wet weather protection.  This cold weather system although versatile requires Soldiers to carry a significant amount of weight and cube.  By combining and integrating the capability of the multi layered system a Soldier is able to reduce cube and weight from their equipment load and increase mobility by providing fewer layers.

PHASE I: Research and develop a novel material to effectively provide increased Clo values at a decreasing temperature. The material must be able to provide a cyclic Clo value and is not a powered system.  The material solution must be cost effective and industrially producible.   The material must be operationally durable to provide abrasion resistance and strength to achieve a 120 day operational mission and provide a threshold 500 and an objective of 1000 cycles of change throughout the life of the material through MIL-STD 810G testing from basic cold to intermediate hot.  The material must be able to withstand minimum 20 launderings according to AATCC 135 Dimensional Changes of Fabrics after Home Laundering to evaluate dimensional durability. The material must be inert in nature and hypo-allergenic to not cause any skin irritations. Initially the material does not need to be flame resistant due to the placement of the material as an internal layer.  Phase I results deliverables are delivery of a 2 yard lab sample and a final report specifying how full-scale performance and requirements will be accomplished in Phase II. The report shall also include any technical test data, Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and risk migration measures.

PHASE II: Further develop novel material that will demonstrate a minimum 50% swing in Clo insulation value or m2K/W, the novel material must be reactive between 23°C and -30°C.  Demonstrate and validate production process and refine manufacturing process to produce a material that can be easily mass produced.   Deliver 10-15 yards of material from each process, an minimum of 3 materials at 3 different loft levels, that demonstrates performance in accordance with the goals in Phase I and 50 Production Demonstration Model of a fleece jacket utilizing the novel material.  Define manufacturing issues related to full scale production of material for military and commercial application.  Identify durability and safety issues associated with material.

PHASE III: Upon successful completion of the research work in Phase I and Phase II, the new multi-functional materials will be evaluated for potential future US Army field testing. The proposed new environmentally multi-functional materials will also have application into civilian markets, including outdoor recreational, law enforcement, and other Emergency Responders.

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