A Novel Approach to Highly Damage Tolerant and Abrasion Resistant EVA Gloves

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEI Corp.
201 Circle Drive North, Suite 102/103
Piscataway, NJ 08873
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

As part of the spacesuit pressure garment, the EVA glove incorporates a silicone pad on the palm for protection of the bladder from cuts and punctures. Repeated gripping and rotational motion cause delamination of the silicone pad from the underlying Vectran® fabric. In addition, frequent scuffing causes damage to the palm pad and loss of material and material functions. Improving adhesion of the silicone layer with the underlying fabric, and enhancing the overall mechanical properties of the glove surface, will beneficially impact extravehicular activities by the astronauts. In Phase I, we propose to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a silicone nanocomposite palm pad material with enhanced adhesive and mechanical properties, and the ability to self-heal scratches and microcracks. The novel silicone nanocomposite combines a nanoscale additive and a self-healing agent into a unique structure in ways never done before. The program is a collaborative effort with a NASA spacesuit contractor. Test coupons with a silicone nanocomposite coating on Vectran® fabric will be used to demonstrate proof of concept. The Phase II program will build upon the Phase I demonstration effort by implementing the technology in a prototype glove assembly.