Novel Surface Modification Technologies for Improved Chemical Biological (CB) Protective Materials

Period of Performance: 08/01/2003 - 01/31/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

GVD Corporation
45 Spinelli Place Array
Cambridge, MA 02138
Principal Investigator

Abstract

GVD proposes to develop a lightweight, durable, breathable, water- and chemical-resistant treatment for fabrics, specifically for the military battledress overgarment. GVD will employ its nanotechnology developed at MIT by company founders, a unique hot filament chemical vapor deposition process (HFCVD), to create ultra-thin, highly engineered fluoropolymer and fluorosilicone coatings for fibrous structures. GVD's process is patented worldwide. Unlike conventional spraying and padding techniques, GVD's process produces conformal, coherent, ultra-thin polymer coatings around the individual strands of a fibrous fabric network, wrapping each fiber in its own "molecular safety suit", ensuring maximum effectiveness in protection, while adding negligible weight to the garment and leaving the "feel" of the fabric unaltered. As such, GVD coatings represent an exciting new alternative to the current Quarpel treatment widely used in the armed forces. A number grades of each polymer material, varying composition, thickness, penetration, morphology and molecular weight, will be coated onto 50:50 cotton/nylon-blend fabric swatches and evaluated for water and chemical resistance, durability, and breathablity, before and after repeated laundering. Results will be compared to swatches of the battledress overgarment coated with Quarpel. GVD will develop a polymer treatment for the battledress overgarment with improved durability under field wear and repeated laundering, over Quarpel, the current treatment in use by the U.S. military. The coating will be lightweight, likely lighter-weight than Quarpel, indiscernible to the feel, flexible, breathable, and have water- and chemical-resistance equal to or superior to Quarpel. The treatment developed will also be attractive to wide range commercial applications, which GVD intends to pursue. These include: (1) home furnishings (stain and water repellent coatings for upholstery and rugs), (2) high-end sports fabrics (durable, breathable, lightweight waterproof coatings for outerwear; low-friction, lightweight breathable coatings for speed suits), (3) apparel (durable, breathable, lightweight water and stain resistant coatings for clothing), and (4) industrial fabrics (durable, chemical-resistant coatings for processing equipment; many specialty, niche applications).