What your guards are wearing today might not be what they wear in the near future thanks to the sheer number of innovative textiles on the market and in the pipeline.
Currently in the works is a finish designed to better protect soldiers in the field. The Army has just awarded a $235,000 contract to an Arkansas firm to develop a protective coating that could be used for the next generation Army Combat Uniform.
The nanoengineered chemical finish, known as nGuard® will shield soldiers against vector-borne diseases such as malaria and zika. It will also resist a broad range of flash flame and thermal threats while lightening the auxiliary load carried by the soldier, improving wearable comfort, and increasing fabric durability and breathability capabilities.
It’s a cliché at this point, but these are certainly not your father’s uniforms.
Will the application carry over into the civilian market? Too early to tell, but it may be yet another option to consider for your uniform program.
Here is the full press release.
SPRINGDALE, Ark. –NanoMech is proud to announce it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army (Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment) to develop and evaluate advanced multi-functional textiles using NanoMech’s proprietary and patent pending technology platform, nGuard®. If successful, the new technology could be used for next generation Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and other Army individual equipment and clothing items.
“I applaud the Army’s decision to award NanoMech this ground-breaking contract, which demonstrates the innovation and advanced technologies developed in Northwest Arkansas,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton. “I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous operation NanoMech has built over the last several years. They are a leader in the tech community and are attracting top engineering and scientific talent to Arkansas. Through their partnership with the University of Arkansas, NanoMech is growing Arkansas’ high tech workforce and research capabilities, and will help make the state a destination for high tech manufacturing long into the future.”
This multi-functional nanoengineered chemical finish will deliver substantial improvements to ACU textiles including very advanced vector protection to shield (or safeguard) soldiers against vector-borne diseases such as malaria, zika, etc. and anti-attractant against other infected arthropod species insects while maintaining low toxicity and increased safety for the soldier.
Through novel material science improvements, the new generation combat uniforms will resist a broad range of flash flame and thermal threats while lightning the auxiliary load carried by the soldier, improving wearable comfort, and increasing fabric durability and breathability capabilities. In addition to yielding effective vector and flame protection, nGuard® has superior antimicrobial activity to improve immunity of soldiers against infectious bacteria/microbes and inhibiting human odor-causing bacteria to resist odor discomfort, distraction, and natural attractant for mosquitoes.
nGuard® is a cost-effective coating finish and additive for a wide variety of textile fabrics- cotton, nylon, polyester, and synthetic blends. In particular, nGuard® is highly adaptive for various modern fabrics and materials. NanoMech has created a unique nano-engineered composite functional delivery system that combines proven metal-mineral complexes that are environment-friendly. This composite delivery vehicle provides high efficacy for antimicrobial, vector protection, and fire-resistant functionalities. Various application specific chemistries of nGuard® platform are engineered using unique convergent assembly processes. nGuard® is a tested and durable product that can endure many wash cycles to continue offering high-performance.
James M. Phillips, Chairman and CEO of NanoMech said, “As a veteran, I am proud to be associated with being selected in this innovative effort to protect America’s soldiers! The $235,000.00 contract will be most helpful along with NanoMech’s very significant financial investment to help create the most advanced military apparel in the world.”
Dr. Ajay P. Malshe, CTO & founder of NanoMech added that, “Given its excellent multi-functional performance, the nGuard® platform can be utilized in a variety of military, civilian, sports, recreation, clothing, and industrial applications. This extreme innovation will provide the U.S. Army better combat uniforms to tackle their most challenging environmental encounters.”