Novel NanoStructured Self-Assembled Fabric Coatings for Future Aircrew Life Support Equipment

Period of Performance: 04/16/2008 - 02/16/2009

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Principal Investigator

Abstract

NanoSonic proposes to develop an innovative fabric coating for future aircrew life support equipment that is flame-resistant, antimicrobial, breathable, durable, comfortable, and provides water-immersion protection superior to current legacy aircrew life support equipment using Electrostatic Self-Assembly (ESA) processing. ESA is an environmentally-friendly, low-cost fabrication process that can be utilized to fabricate countless types of functional materials and coatings on a variety of substrates and fabrics. The proposed coatings can be applied to new or existing fabrics. Because the volume percentages of functional nanoclusters needed for ESA is as low as 0.02% volume percent, the coatings are extremely low-weight for fabrics to which they are applied. Therefore, the proposed self-assembled fabric coatings would enable aircrew to comfortably don and transport the necessary life support equipment during operations. Because the nanostructured coating is non-obtrusive to the fabric to which it is applied, the fabric would remain nearly as breathable after the coating is applied as it was before, which would allow for adequate ventilation for the aircrew personnel. Improved performance and reduced weight of the proposed self-assembled protective suit would ensure that aircrew s performance and comfort would not be burdened by wearing the protective ensemble, thus increasing effectiveness and improving survivability.