Integrated Protective Fabric System

Integrated Protective Fabric System

Client: Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Today’s Chemical and Biological protective suits provide the Warfighter shielding against a broad range of liquid and aerosolized toxic agents. To meet these threats, protective suits are designed to be thick and bulky, but this also increases the thermal burden on the Warfighter to levels that can cause heat stress. An Integrated Protective Fabric System (IPFS) was designed to counter these challenges and extend mission duration by developing and demonstrating light-weight, Chemical and Biological protective material technologies and suit design concepts that reduce Warfighter heat stress. As innovative as the IPFS suit design is however, it only marginally decreases the thermal burden on the Warfighter because it consists of a comfort liner, aerosol barrier, vapor barrier, carbon liner, and an outer shell; all of which have an insulating effect.

Current data proves that placing Chemical and Biological protective materials next to the skin reduces heat stress by eliminating the air gap between the body and the suit that acts as an insulating layer. ANSER personnel, in collaboration with Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, theorized that removing the air gap between the actual layers of IPFS materials would have the same heat-reducing effect and recent data has proven this theory to be true. By laminating the layers of IPFS materials together, the ANSER team reduced the insulating effects of the materials, and reduced the heat stress on the soldier by 30-40% and measurements have shown that a more form-fitting suit also reduces thermal burden.

ANSER is helping to protect the nation by improving the Warfighter’s ability to accomplish the mission. The team’s findings can aid the Warfighter in executing longer missions while in a Chemical-Biological protective posture by reducing the thermal burden. The data can also serve as a starting point for combining novel garment designs with the integration of a variety of chemical and biological protective material technologies that provide advanced integrated ensembles to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

ANSER Projects, Science & Technology