Manufacturing of Flame Resistant (FR) Combat Printed Nonwoven Material

Period of Performance: 08/26/2016 - 02/26/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nano Terra, Inc.
737 Concord Ave Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Tennessee
1534 White Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Institution POC


Even though nonwovens offer significant cost savings over woven fabrics, nonwovens are mostly used for disposable protective clothing, wipes, filters, and geotextiles. The low adoption rate of nonwovens in reusable garments is due to the difficulty in producing fabrics with a combination of desired properties that mimic woven fabrics. For example, a nonwoven with the drapability and air permeability of a comparable woven fabric will often exhibit unacceptably poor abrasion resistance and lower tensile and shear strength. The need for additional functionality, such as flame retardancy (FR), may compound the challenges to acceptance of nonwovens. The objective of the proposed research is to produce a dyeable FR nonwoven fabric that is durable to 100 washings, has a burst strength of 25 pounds, an air permeability of 240 CFM, and excellent dimensional stability. Nano Terra will combine their expertise in FR fabrics with the expertise of Dr. Gajanan Bhat at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in nonwoven fabrics to produce nonwoven textiles that meet and exceed the specifications and are suitable for widespread use in combat uniforms. The proposed effort will involve forming of fabrics from a combination of commercially-available and chemically-modified FR fibers using state-of-the-art bonding techniques.