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US Air Force to test Alexium’s treatment with live CWAs

Alexium International Group has moved its Cleanshell CB repellency treatment forward for testing with live chemical warfare agents (CWAs) under its research contract with the US Air Force after evaluation on different fabric types and simulated CWA’s. Alexium’s Cleanshell CB treatment is targeted specifically to the treatment of the outershell fabric of chemical and biological protection ensembles. The company reports, that the Cleanshell CB has shown dramatically increased repellency to simulants of CWAs such as sarin and mustard nerve agents but has also been optimised to provide excellent water and oil repellency as well as allowing for ease of movement in the field.

11th September 2013

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Perth, WA/Greer, SC

Protective, Packaging, Clothing/​Footwear, Medical/Hygiene

Alexium’s Cleanshell CB treatment is targeted specifically to the treatment of the outershell fabric of chemical and biological protection ensembles.

The company reports, that the Cleanshell CB has shown dramatically increased repellency to simulants of CWAs such as sarin and mustard nerve agents but has also been optimised to provide excellent water and oil repellency as well as allowing for ease of movement in the field.

Slow penetration

Over the past year, Alexium has been working with the US Air Force for the evaluation of Cleanshell CB on various fabrics. The goal of this work has been to evaluate the best fabrics for this application and to assess its efficacy with live CWAs.

According to the company, the benefit of the Cleanshell CB treatment is that it functions by repelling CWAs and inhibiting the absorption of agents into the fabric. Relative to a standard repellency treatment, the Cleanshell CB treatment is said to increase the time for chemical warfare agent penetration from minutes to weeks (>1000 times slower penetration).

Based on recent work with simulants for CWAs, the samples of Cleanshell CB treated fabrics have progressed to studies with live agents.

Protection against real CWAs threats

The Cleanshell CB treatment is applied via Alexium’s patented Reactive Surface Treatment, which uses microwave based technology to apply sub-micron coatings to a wide range of substrates.

The resulting nanoscopic coating may chemically bond to the substrate or simply form an intractable coating at the substrate surface. This flexibility is said to allow a wide range of materials to be treated — many of which cannot be functionalised with a durable coating via other traditional methods.

“The Cleanshell CB treatment has been an exciting product from our Reactive Surface Treatment technology, and its progression to live agent testing is a key milestone. These live agent tests, which are undertaken under strict conditions in a secure US Department of Defense installation, are only undertaken after complete validation against simulated agents. The live agent test results will provide a definitive measure of Cleanshell CB protection against real CWAs threats,” said Dr Bob Brookins, Head of Research and Development for Alexium.

www.alexiuminternational.com

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