NATO workshop brings defense textiles experts together

Remediation and communication

In my own presentation, I offered a demonstration of the adsorption and absorption characteristics of the Fibertect® nonwoven dry decontamination wipe, research that fits well with the hazard mitigation program of the U.S. DOD. The patented technology is manufactured by Waco, Texas-based Hobbs Bonded Fibers, and marketed by First Line Technology of Chantilly, Va. Fibertect is also becoming useful in absorbing oil, and is being discussed as one remedy for the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Professor L. Van Langenhove of the Department of Textiles, University of Ghent, Belgium, discussed European research on smart and electronic textiles for personal protection. Europe appears to be ahead of the U.S. and the rest of the world on smart textiles research. The projects are truly collaborative, involving many countries, and are aimed at technology transfer. Prof. Van Langenhove emphasized that smart textiles should perform as a sensor, actuator, data processor, energy creator and storage device. She included examples from successful European projects, such as textiles for heartbeat sensing and insulating materials using shape memory materials.

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