Improved Chemical Protective Gloves Using Elastomeric Nanocomposites

Period of Performance: 04/11/2003 - 04/11/2005

$728K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Inmat LLC
216 Route 206, Suite 7
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Multilayer chemical protective gloves that provide 24 hours of protection against chemical warfare agents while being more resistant to petroleum oils and flames than the currently used butyl rubber gloves will be developed. This will be achieved using aqueous nanocomposite elastomeric coatings specially formulated for use in newly designed multilayer gloves. In phase 1, InMat demonstrated that a few mils of its nanocomposite coatings offer the potential to provide the same 24 hours of protection currently available with butyl rubber gloves that are 25-30 mils thick. In Phase 2, we will combine nanocomposite coatings with flame and petroleum oil resistant Neoprene to produce new multilayer gloves. The first neoprene based nanocomposite coatings were developed during phase 1. They have improved adhesion to neoprene, as well as improved resistance to petroleum oils. Despite the higher permeability of Neoprene, the nanocomposites have gas barrier properties similar to InMat's earlier butyl based formulations, and offer distinct advantages for use in multilayer chemical protective gloves. The final design will not only provide the required improvements over currently used butyl gloves but also empower soldiers by being thinner, thus improving their ability to perform manual tasks while protecting them from chemical warfare agents. We will develop chemical protective gloves (CPGs) with the following properties: 1. Improved resistance to hydrocarbon solvents and petroleum based greases and oil 2. Improved flame resistance 3. Better barrier to chemical warfare agents without any increase in glove thickness. 4. Adequate protection in a larger number of environments without requiring the use of multiple gloves. 5. Better manual dexterity than using multiple gloves. 6. Improved performance that meets the needs of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. 7. More environmentally friendly manufacturing process having reduced volatile organic emissions.