Fibertect® Wipe Shown To Surpass Powdered M-291 Decontaminant In Performance
Testing was conducted by co-investigator Utkarsh Sata, Ph.D., who found that the wipe also adsorbs the soman vapors five times better than M-291, which currently is being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and is being phased out.
"This is an improved reiteration of Fibertect," said Seshadri Ramkumar, Ph.D., project lead investigator and inventor of the composite technology, has undergone several iterations since it was first developed in 2004 (See " Quality Fabric Of The Month: Toxic Clean Up," TextileWorld.com, April 2004). "The cotton composite takes liquid up very quickly and can adsorb vapors more efficiently than the powdered decontaminant," he said, noting that the purpose of the experiments was to evaluate the efficiency of the wipe's vapor-holding capability.
Ramkumar mentioned other advantages to the newest version of the wipe: "The idea was to use as much biodegradable material as possible in the wipe. This is one major improvement." He added that the M-291 powder leaves a dirty residue on the surface of the object being decontaminated.
"The powdered form is very difficult to handle and to apply toward decontamination purposes," said Ron Kendall, Ph.D., also a project co-investigator, remarking on the ease of use of the composite wipes, which can be used to clean both equipment surfaces and the skin, although no testing using the soman surrogate has been conducted on human skin.
Other researchers include Eugene Wilusz, U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center, Natick, Mass.; Steve Mlynarek, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.; and Gopal Coimbatore, TTU.
The project received partial funding from DoD; Cotton Incorporated, Cary, N.C.; the International Cotton Research Center at TTU; Texas Department of Agriculture; Cotton Foundation, Cordova, Tenn.; and The CH Foundation, Lubbock.
First Line Technology, Chantilly, Va., markets the Fibertect wipes, which have been approved as a cost-effective decontamination wipe for U.S. Military and Department of Homeland Security uses.
March 5, 2013