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Application of a Treatment to the Military Fabrics that is Affordable and Provides Durable Flame Resistant Properties


OBJECTIVE: To develop an affordable and durable flame resistant (FR) treatment for the fabrics used in combat systems and other pieces of equipment. DESCRIPTION: Advances in technologies may enable the development of affordable and durable FR materials by treating the current fabric vice developing expensive flame resistant materials. Proposed material concepts should meet as many of the current requirements for Combat Clothing as possible and must meet the vertical flame requirement listed below. The treatment should not negatively impact other non-FR fabric properties, including fabric strength, stiffness, and weight. Preference will be given to technologies that meet the vertical flame requirement and significantly exceed requirements, especially with attributes that correlate to durability (e.g. tear and break strength). Novel and innovative concepts are sought. The targeted cost increase for this technology should be less than 5% of the current Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) (objective) and less than 10% of the current MCCUU (threshold) cost. Preference will be given to technologies that can be applied to the current NYCO fabrics, although, the Marine Corps may consider other technical options (e.g. other fabrics). PHASE I: Detail the feasibility and approach of applying the treatment to the current NYCO fabric. Develop concepts and compounds and evaluate their technical feasibility. Conduct physical property evaluations of the proposed materials. Provide samples of NYCO material treated with the retardant. PHASE II: Optimize the material properties and scale-up the production process to reduce manufacturing costs. Provide enough materials to the Marine Corps for evaluation to demonstrate product passes all criteria. Improve upon the design concept developed in Phase I and deliver a quantity of samples. The product shall be robust and geared toward use in multiple environmental conditions. In depth testing shall be conducted to demonstrate performance with respect to its intended use, and shall verify/expand upon the design characteristics addressed during the Phase I effort. Deliver a report detailing: (1) the fabrication processes and associated materials/equipment; (2) testing conducted (to include equipment and methodology) along with results demonstrating the degree of effectiveness of the treatment for its intended purpose; (3) any limitations such as durability, etc; (4) updated summary of key characteristics, end item cost estimates, and manufacturing considerations, to include any special processes or equipment anticipated for production purposes; (5) produce and deliver samples to the Government for the purposes of testing in a relevant environment. The success of performance evaluation and testing results, if favorable, may lead into Phase III applications. All research, development and prototype designs shall be documented with detailed descriptions and specifications of the materials, designs, processes, and performance. PHASE III: Given successful completion of Phase II, a larger quantity of the integrated product shall be manufactured for larger scale testing and demonstration of manufacturability, reliability, and quality assurance. Demonstrate the suitability of the treatment in a clothing design and field evaluation. Integrate the treatment into relevant items for system level testing, evaluation and demonstration. Provide adequate garment samples to the Marine Corps for evaluation. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: In addition to the military market, a durable and affordable FR treatment for standard fabrics would have applications to clothing worn in the first responder community, oil and gas industry (well drilling, servicing, production-related operations) and electrical/utility industry. REFERENCES: 1. ASTM D 6413 2. NFPA 701, D1.1 3. UL 723
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