Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Army Seeks Self-Cleaning Uniform

Tomorrow the results from the Army Camouflage Improvement Effort evaluation are to be presented to the AUB, however the NSRDEC have other plans in the works for an improved material. GEN. Caldwell has requested that Natick develop a uniform that doesn't need to be washed. Of course, the kicker is that it stays clean through multiple use as well. This is not a new concept as several manufactures have introduced nano technology to provide coatings in several forms that are hydrophobic and oleophobic in nature on varying degrees, which allow a fabric to repel many types of substance that would stain or simply require the clothing to laundered. 

Standard Vs. Omniphobic Coated ACU

The NSRDEC has now developed a super-repellent coating that they say will provide a low critical surface tension below those of liquid substance they are seeking to combat and it also resists dirt from attaching to the material. So, not will it only keep the uniform clean, but will also allow for soldiers to not come in contact with harmful chemicals if otherwise absorbed into the material. 

Their scientists utilized research from MIT to develop the coating along with Luna Innovations to develop the actual clothing. Final uniforms were tested on Soldiers who liked the results of what they are calling an omniphobic coating that provides a waterproof material that also repelled other liquids including oil. They are looking to combine this technology with all other aspects of the Army Combat Uniform including Flame Resistance and anti-microbial technology to avoid your own added smell. We shall see how long it takes to get this incorporated for general issuance. 

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