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Journal of Textiles
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 216293, 8 pages
Research Article

Moisture Transport for Reaction Enhancement in Fabrics

1U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA 01760, USA
2Stedfast, Inc., Granby, QC, Canada J2G 3Y3
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 01239, USA

Received 8 November 2012; Accepted 29 January 2013

Academic Editor: Sambandam Anandan

Copyright © 2013 Phillip Gibson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of water in protective fabrics is critical to comfort and material performance. Excessive perspiration in clothing causes discomfort, and bound water can adversely affect the ability of carbon to adsorb chemicals. Yet the presence of water can also improve the moisture vapor transport of protective polymer films, and is essential for the hydrolytic destruction of nerve agents. Reported here are the findings of wicking and drying experiments conducted on various hydrophilic and hydrophobic cover fabrics that demonstrate the influence of wetting on permeation through fabrics. The influence of water content on reactive polymers capable of degrading nerve agent simulant is also discussed, and the importance of a novel “delivery system” for water to the reactive components through the use of a wicking fabric is introduced.