Development of a Novel Chemically Impervious and Breathable Membrane

Period of Performance: 07/16/2008 - 01/07/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Materials Modification, Inc.
2809-K Merrilee Drive Array
Fairfax, VA 22031
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Drexel University
3201 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Institution POC


In this Phase I, Materials Modification Inc. will develop a novel breathable membrane liner for use as protection against chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and toxic industrial materials. Traditional protective suit materials such as butyl rubber do not allow permeation of water vapor through the membrane, which can cause overheating and limits the time the suit can be worn. Although the current Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) which uses activated carbon, has excellent water vapor transport rate, it provides limited protection for chemical agents and the activated carbon imposes additional weight on the garment. In the proposed Phase I effort, a novel membrane liner will be developed based on the knowledge and designs created by the partner academic institution. The design will include a durable, lightweight, flexible membrane that incorporates both a water permeable component and a barrier component against CWAs, TICs and TIMs. The permeation rates of water and chemical agent simulants will be measured and compared to the current technology, including JSLIST. In Phase II, the membrane liner design will be expanded and tested for its ability to perform in a wider range of applications. In addition, a method for incorporating the membrane liner in the soldier s suit will be performed and advanced fluid testing will be undertaken in the Phase II effort.