Design and Material Considerations for High Performance Army Combat Uniforms

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Title: Design and Material Considerations for High Performance Army Combat Uniforms
Author: Satam, Dnyanada Shankar
Advisors: Dr. Michelle Jones, Committee Member
Dr. Hoon Joo Lee, Committee Chair
Dr. Nancy Cassill, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: SATAM, DNYANADA. Design and Material Considerations for High Performance Army Combat Uniforms. (Under the direction of Dr. Hoon Joo Lee and Dr. Nancy Cassill). As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention†, the military requires new modifications in its uniforms to surmount the climatic conditions and to reduce threat of various warfare agents during their mission. The requirement of the hour is having light, better-protective, more breathable uniform fabrics which also have superior mechanical properties. This research deals with the design of Army Combat Uniforms (ACU) specifically with the new technologies and materials that could be used for their manufacture. The design of ACU is governed by the protective functions, quality, and economic feasibility. Along with protection, the key performance features include high strength, light weight, fire-resistance, moisture management, and temperature control. The current uniforms are made of nylon-cotton blended (50/50 NYCO) woven fabrics, and the use of nonwoven fabrics has been limited. This research puts forward the scenarios of the use of nonwoven fabrics and Computer Aided Design (CAD) for the production of ACU considering the necessity of domestic mass production of defense materials. Developing a new class of ACU produced with CAD technologies and nonwoven materials, which need advanced manufacturing facilities instead of human resources, could be a stepping stone for the design of new-age ACU. The composite nonwoven fabrics provide all these properties along with enhanced durability and wash resistance. In addition, many nonwovens can be ultrasonically bonded to create impervious seams to prevent penetration of chemical-biological warfare agents. This research also proposes the idea of incorporating smart textiles in ACU. A method of producing oleophobic fabric surface which can make the uniform protective against chemical-biological warfare agents has also been experimented during the course of this research. The final output of this research is a House of Quality Matrix (HQM) which explains the intricacies of designing an ACU. This matrix was developed on the concept screening matrix and concept scoring matrix which rank the requirements for an ACU according to level of importance and rate the features and functionality of the current ACU. The HQM matrix could be used for future product development of ACU.
Date: 2009-04-23
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textiles

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