Flame Resistant Treatment for Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-004
Topic Title: Flame Resistant Treatment for Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms
Proposal No.: N181-004-0507
Firm: Luna Innovations Incorporated
301 1st Street SW
Suite 200
Roanoke, Virginia 24011
Contact: Ms. Beck
Phone: (540) 558-1665
Web Site: http://www.lunainc.com
Abstract: Current Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms (MCCUU) fabricated with 50:50 nylon:cotton (NYCO) blends are relatively inexpensive, but suffer from significant flammability concerns. Although a flame resistant (FR) version utilizing polyaramid (e.g. NomexAr) blends exists, it is significantly more expensive and less durable than the NYCO uniform. There is a desire by the Marine Corps to confer FR properties to all combat uniforms, yet the shift to overseas production of specialty aramid fibers has made this economically impractical. There have been many commercial developments toward the production of less inexpensive FR fabrics with the use of flame retardant additives and coatings. The most cost effective of these FR treatments are based on halogenated chemicals, evolve toxic gases when combusted, and also do not prevent melt/drip properties of synthetic fabrics under flame conditions. Other flame retardant utilize the heavy incorporation of inorganic fillers, which significantly decrease the flexibility and breathability of the fabric and at the necessary high loadings to achieve FR properties. Lunaƒ?Ts approach is to apply an inexpensive, lightweight nanocomposite surface treatment that will promote char formation for enhanced flame protection (decreased flame propagation, eliminate melt/drip) while maintaining the desired flexibility and comfort for high user acceptability.
Benefits: This proposed research is part of a comprehensive development effort and fits well into the strategic focus of Luna for protective textiles and uniforms. The ability to produce an inexpensive flame retardant textile that can compete with expensive engineering fibers (e.g. aramides) will be a huge benefit to numerous military and commercial applications. Luna has extensive experience with research and development of new materials, as well as prototype uniform manufacturing and field demonstration for US military and first responders. Luna has a novel textile treatment developed under SBIR funding currently distributed worldwide, through partnerships with manufacturing companies, textile mills, and clothing/uniform producers. Luna anticipates this proposed flame retardant treatment will be our next commercial product in our textile market platform.