Soldiers, who are more exposed to all kinds of biological and environmental contamination, have now triggered a new idea of exploring chemical-proof clothing. In order to ensure the chemical protection, US soldiers plan to bring in omniphobic-coated uniforms. This specially treated material that protects from dirt, rain and snow, can also fight off environmental and chemical threats.
As per the solicitation notice issued by the Department of the Army earlier this month, it has been proved that these omniphobic coatings have the power to ward off all sorts of dirt, bacteria and viruses.
The efficacy of the material to shield the skin from solid and liquid toxic industrial chemicals, petroleum, oil, and lubricants, chemical warfare agents, and bacteria and viruses has proved positive.
Lab tests by the MIT have revealed its capability to enhance chemical and biological protection, which make liquids to bead rather than clinging on to the surface. Another advantage for the soldiers with this omniphobic clothing is that they have to do less laundry.
Natural materials like lotus leaves or spider hair which can repel water and display self-cleaning functions were used for experiments by the researchers.
It is also being said that the omniphobic textiles might easily scratch off, as they don’t currently meet military standards fully. The Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centeris in fact looking for a thinner clothing to fix the “material weaknesses”. Before going on with this proposed military clothing, the Army wants to ensure better stuff without any compromise in fabric stiffness or in color. Clothes also need to ensure free air flow and moisture wicking ability.
We guess the day is not far when these omniphobic uniforms will get into the Army.