NASA has identified the need to develop new technologies that will result in a next-to-skin fabric with improved flame retardancy in the unique, oxygen enriched atmosphere of intravehicular activities. The novel material will require flame resistance (FR), comfort, durability, and be non-toxic to the wearer. It is imperative that these enhancements survive the rigors of the astronauts’ use. It is also desirable that the manufacturing process be scalable so as to minimize cost at high volumes. Giner, Inc will develop a novel, non-toxic fabric treatment method to impart FR properties with fiber-level precision on synthetic and natural fiber blends. The proposed coatings fabricated with a versatile, high-throughput multilayer spray processing method will improve flame resistance in a saturated oxygen environment without impacting base material properties such durability, toxicity and comfort. The innovation of the proposed method is the combination of a novel flame-resistant coating formula with a high-precision, scalable spray coating technique that can apply FR coatings with fiber-level precision to a variety of fabric substrates including Rayon, Nylon/Cotton blends, and 100% cotton. The coated textiles will have improved FR in the oxygen rich environment while maintaining durability and comfort. FR and base material properties will be evaluated internally and by 3rd party independent testers using standard ASTM methods as well as modified protocols for testing in an oxygen rich environment.
FR fabrics are used for the protection of firemen and first responders, soldiers, and workers in industrial settings such as petroleum refineries. They are also used to cover seats and other components on commercial and military aircraft. Giner’s FR textile will provide safety and quality of life improvements in any working or living environment at risk of fire hazards.