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PhilaU team makes protective suits for US army
A Philadelphia University-lead team has recently completed work on two prototypes of protective suits for the US Army natick soldier research, development and engineering centre in partnership with the Battelle Memorial Institute, a private, non-profit technology company that manages federal government laboratories and supports national security.
The one-piece over garment suit is part of an all-purpose-personal protective ensemble (AP-PPE), a state-of-the-art chemical-biological protective garment system developed for Special Operations forces, to increase protection against chemical-biological threats and to improve operational suitability. Besides the over garment suit, the AP-PPE ensemble features chemical-biological protective footwear and gloves. The components interface together and are compatible with existing operational gear.
Recognising PhilaU's work on Department of Defense-funded initiatives such as the Laboratory for Engineered Human Protection, Battelle invited performance apparel expert Mark Sunderland, textile engineer and Robert J. Reichlin High-Performance Apparel Chair, to provide his expertise and consultation.
Sunderland's team manufactured and fabricated two prototypes of the AP-PPE over garment suit–one with a collar and one with a hood–and wrote and produced a detailed prospectus of operations and procedures (based on the prototypes) on the manufacture of the protective suit.
The PhilaU team was awarded the nearly $75,000 contract by Battelle in April 2016 and completed the work in mid-August. PhilaU textile materials technology student Devon Willard '18 and Philadelphia-based Ricochet Manufacturing worked under Sunderland's direction on this project.
Sunderland said, “This work demonstrates our expertise and deep knowledge on high-functional technical apparel for the military said. The procedures and operations developed from the construction and assembly of the bio-chem suit will be used as the military standard for contractors and manufacturers.” (GK)