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CBRN Gloves with Improved Tactility and Touch-Screen Capability

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Chem Bio Defense, Human Systems

OBJECTIVE:

Current, state-of-the-art Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear (CBRN) protective gloves are highly protective (butyl rubber) and durable [1], but are bulky and induce an elevated thermal burden when worn for extended periods.The fit, sizing, and physical bulk of gloves is critical to avoid restricting user dexterity, which is needed to perform tasks in high risk environments [2, 3].The increased thermal burden associated with wear decreases user comfort and acceptance [4].Additionally, current systems cannot be used while operating capacitive-based touch screen systems that are increasingly necessary in military operations.This topic addresses the technical challenges and innovative solutions needed to create protective, durable, and conformal gloves that can be integrated into novel CBRN protective ensembles while allowing higher tactility and touch-screen capabilities

DESCRIPTION:

Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear (CBRN) protective ensembles provide the first line of defense for personnel exposed to victims and/or materials during assessment, extrication, rescue, triage, decontamination, treatment, site security, crowd management, and force protection operations at incidents involving CBRN agents. Gloves are an integral part of the ensemble that allow users to perform critical tasks. There is a need for gloves that allow for high levels of function, without trade-off between protection and dexterity, tactility, or thermal burden. Commercially available CBRN protective gloves are bulky and not sufficiently conformal or tactile to the wearer. Additionally, these gloves cannot be used with electronic touch-screen systems. This topic solicits the following innovative technology requirements for a CBRN glove.


TestThresholdObjective
Chemical permeation resistance: NFPA 1994 Class 120 g/m2 challenge over 1 hours20 g/m2 challenge over 6 hours
Puncture Resistance: ASTM F1342/F1342MPuncture resistance of ≥9 N (≥2 lbf) (threshold)Puncture resistance of ≥15 N (≥3.8 lbf) (objective)
Cut Resistance: ASTM F1790Blade travel distance of ≥ 20 mmBlade travel distance of ≥ 20 mm
Stretch recovery: ASTM D259420% stretch, 90% recovery20% stretch, 90% recovery
Tensile Strength (durability): ASTM D5034 or equivalent test for breaking strength (N or lbf) and Elongation Break (%)An objective of 90% resistance to break of butyl rubberAn objective resistance to break equal to butyl rubber
Conductivity: 4 point probeN/A≥ 10-10 S/cm
Moisture vapor transport (MVTR) ASTM E96Equal to butyl rubberAn objective of higher MVTR than butyl rubber

Table 1. Phase I threshold and objectives.


ACRONYMS:


ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
°C - Degrees Celsius
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
g/m2 - Grams per meter squared
lbf - Pounds of force
N - Newtons
N⋅m - Newton meters
S/cm - Siemens per centimeter

PHASE I:

Conduct research on novel concepts for Chem-Bio protective glove materials to achieve both conformal, tactical properties and barrier functions. Upon completion of Phase I, samples of the glove material or materials in swatch/sheet form will be made available for independent evaluation of barrier properties, physical properties, and conductivity. The material(s) should meet the threshold goals outlined above (Table 1) and the detailed conditions for testing must be provided to and be approved by the Government Technical Points of Contact (POCs). The threshold level of chemical permeation resistance should be cumulative permeation mass of less than 6 micrograms/cm2 for industrial chemicals, 1.25 micrograms/cm2 for Soman (GD) and 4.0 micrograms/cm2 for distilled mustard (HD) when challenged with 20 grams per meter squared (g/m2) of liquid chemical agent or 1% agent in gas phase [5,6]. An assessment of capability to form or mold materials into gloves will be provided to the Government Technical POCs. In addition, it is highly encouraged that additional physical property testing be performed on the glove material, such as weight (ASTM D3776, option C), stiffness (ASTM D 747) and thickness (ASTM D 1777), and the results sent to the Government Technical POCs. There is no threshold for these values because while they are indicative of glove tactility, which will be measured in Phase II, they are not determinant.


TestThresholdObjective
Chemical permeation resistance: NFPA 1994 Class 120 g/m2 challenge over 1 hour20 g/m2 challenge over 6 hours
Liquid tight integrity: ASTM D5151No liquid penetrationNo liquid penetration
Puncture Resistance: ASTM F1342/F1342MPuncture resistanceof ≥9 N (≥2 lbf) (threshold)Puncture resistance of ≥15 N (≥3.8 lbf) (objective)
Cut Resistance: ASTM F1790Blade travel distance of ≥ 20 mmBlade travel distance of ≥ 20 mm
Stretch recovery: ASTM D259420% stretch, 90% recovery20% stretch, 90% recovery
Cold Temperature Performance: ASTM D747Bending moment of <0.057 N⋅m at an angular deflection of 60° at -25° C.Bending moment of <0.057 N⋅m at an angular deflection of 60° at -25° C.
Flammability Resistance: ASTM F1358Afterflame time of ≤2.0 seconds, does not melt or dripAfterflame time of ≤2.0 seconds, does not melt or drip
Moisture vapor transport ASTM E96Equal to butyl rubberMVTR higher than butyl rubber
Tensile Strength (durability): ASTM D5034 or equivalent test for breaking strength (N or lbf) and Elongation Break (%)An objective of 90% resistance to break of butyl rubberAn objective of resistance to break equal to butyl rubber
Conductivity: 4 point probe≥ 10-10 S/cm at fingertip region≥ 10-10 S/cm, entire glove
Glove hand function: ASTM F2010/F2010MAverage % increase over barehanded control <300%Average % increase over barehanded control <300%

Table 2. Phase II thresholds and objectives.

PHASE II:

Conduct development and assessment of forming or molding the materials into gloves and system level assessment for liquid tight integrity.Further improvements in the material properties should be made to reach as high of a value as possible, near the objectives for permeation (NFPA 1994 Class 1), stretch (20%), and durability resistance to break (90% of butyl rubber), outlined above (Table 2). The threshold level of chemical permeation resistance should be cumulative permeation mass of less than 6 micrograms/cm2 for industrial chemicals, 1.25 micrograms/cm2 for Soman, and 4.0 micrograms/cm2 for distilled mustard when challenged with 20 grams per meter squared (g/m2) of liquid chemical agent or 1% chemical agent in the gas phase.Additional testing such as viral penetration (ASTM F1671) tests are encouraged, with the results sent to the Government Technical POCs. There is no threshold for performance against viral penetration for Phase II performance or NFPA 1994 Class 1 gloves, and results will not be determinant. However, viral testing is required for both NFPA 1994 Class 2 and 3 gloves, and the result may be considered for Phase III Dual Use Applications. The detailed conditions for testing must be provided to and approved by the Government Technical POCs. With approval by the Government Technical POCs, gloves will be integrated into CBRN protective ensembles and system level testing will be completed in the second half of Phase II. User acceptability, form, fit, function, capability on resistive and capacitive touchscreen, thermal burden, thermal and evaporative resistance will be assessed and considered. Upon completion of Phase II, molded samples of the glove, material swatches of the improved upon material(s), and a complete cost analysis for glove production will have been provided to the Government Technical POCs.

PHASE III:

PHASE III: The gloves demonstrated in Phase II will be commercialized for production and integration into CBRN protective ensembles.The Government Technical POCs will be available to advise on possible partners and paths forward in both government and industry, with an end goal to deliver glove prototypes able to integrate into an appropriate Chem-Bio ensemble for the intended end-user.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: First responder and anti-terrorism personnel would also benefit from the use of improved protective gloves that are more conformal, allowing for improved dexterity, tactility and comfort, with touch screen capability. The barrier material can be used not only in protective gloves, but also in other formed/molded applications such as protective socks.

KEYWORDS: Barrier Materials; Chem-Bio Protection; Gloves, Durability; Permeation Resistance; Elastic Stretching; Elastic Relaxation; dexterity

References:

1. Military Specification, MIL-DTL-43976D. Gloves and Glove Set, Chemical Protective. Department of Defense. 5 September 2003.

2. Schumacher, J., Arlidge, J., Garnham, F. and Ahmad, I. 2017. A randomised crossover simulation study comparing the impact of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear substance personal protection equipment on the performance of advanced life support interventions. Anaesthesia. 72: 592-597. doi:10.1111/anae.13842

3. Tiexeira, R. and Bensel, C. K. 1990. The effects of chemical protective gloves and glove liners on manual dexterity. Defense Technical Information Center. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a231250.pdf

4. Endrusick, T. L., Gonzalez, J. A., Gonzalez, R. R. 2005. Improved comfort of US military chemical and biological protective clothing. Environmental Ergonomics. 369-373. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=qvh2sdJoQR8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA369&dq=butyl+rubber+gloves+thermal+comfort&ots=Y_cpT81zjd&sig=zqjGslOefJbwgK7wH9EmtOhzsC8#v=onepage&q=butyl%20rubber%20gloves%20thermal%20comfort&f=false

5. NFPA 1994 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Chemical/Biological Terrorism Incidents 2018 Edition, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Quincy, MA 02269,USA. https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=1994

6. NFPA 1994 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Chemical/Biological Terrorism Incidents 2001 Edition, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Quincy, MA 02269,USA. http://www.disaster-info.net/lideres/english/jamaica/bibliography/ChemicalAccidents/NFPA_1994_StandardonProtectiveEnsemblesforChemicalBiologicalTerrorismIncidents.pdf

NOTE: Ref 5 (above) provides free access and allows the entire document to be viewed on the NFPA website, but cannot be downloaded.

Ref 6 is an older version but links directly to a downloadable PDF document.

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