Unique material will protect soldiers from chemical weapons
Military personnel involved in missions in adulterated environments are in grave demand of breathable clothing, which is lightweight yet very effective. While current military gear is heavy and does not meet the critical demand to perfection, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California have developed a highly breathable fabric that is more breathable and lightweight. Made to be used in military uniforms, the material is just like a second skin that can even protect a person from viruses and chemical weapons.
LLNL scientists have arrived at this unique fabric by combining carbon nanotubes (CNT) and flexible polymer membranes. Carbon nanotubes provide unique transport material to the fabric, which makes it breathable.
The highly knit fabric has pores of size as small as 5 nanometres (for comparison i.e. 5,000 times smaller width than human hair). According to the research paper published in July 27 edition of the journal, Advanced Materials, biological treats such as viruses are generally more than 10 nanometers in size.
The new fabric has been tested to repel dengue virus. And the CNT membrane enabled material has proven breathable and bio-protective.
The pores of the material are not really small enough to protect against chemical agents on the onset. To assist the membrane pores to react and block chemical threats, scientists are modifying CNTs with chemical threat responsive groups.