New Fabric Makes Protective Garments More Parch Proof


H
ydroweave™ is designed to harness the cooling power of evaporation. The new fabric is
used in garments to lower the core body temperature. AquaTex Industries Inc. of Huntsville, Ala.,
developed the product.

The fabric can keep people working in temperatures from 90° to 360° cool for up to eight
hours, according to the company. Tests conducted at Auburn University show that Hydroweave offers
users superior heat protection.

The fabric sheds heat and regulates core body temperatures using evaporation. These benefits
are especially important in industrial applications and other environments where personal
protective equipment is worn.

“Humans give off 75 percent of our energy in heat,” said Dr. David Pascoe, a human
bioenergetics expert and associate professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at
Auburn University.

“If personal protective equipment or other barriers prevent us from releasing that heat to
the environment, we have to find another way to get rid of it before problems such as heat stress
or heat stroke arise.”

The fabric’s temperature-regulating properties enable people to work up to 16.4 percent
longer when wearing a vest made of Hydroweave under their standard-issue protective gear, according
to encapsulated tests conducted by Dr. Pascoe. Hydroweave’s cooling properties stem from its unique
design and water-absorbing fiber batting.

In the fabric’s patented three-layer composite design, the batting is sandwiched between an
inner thermal conductive lining and a breathable outer shell.

Before use the fabric is soaked in tap water for five minutes. Excess water is then squeezed
from the garment, and the inner lining is wiped dry.

During wear the microporous inner conductive lining pulls heat away from the wearer.
Super-absorbent fibers in the batting store more water than conventional fabric and release the
water in a controlled fashion over a longer period of time.

The water evaporates as it passes through the outer shell, cooling the user.

The gradual moisture release results in increased cooling and a longer-lasting cooling
effect. Since the conductive waterproof lining separates the batting from the wearer, the garment
feels cool, dry and comfortable.

Current Hydroweave users include The 3M Company, Sterling Environmental, the Glendale Police
Bomb Squad, Synthetic Industries and the Medical Transportation Service of Fort Benning, Ga. The
fabric is also being combined with DuPont’s fireproof Nomex® fiber for use in flame-retardant
clothing.

Hydroweave also has sport applications. Several NFL and collegiate teams are using the
product. Players for the Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles and the University
of Alabama’s Crimson Tide are wearing shoulder pads and helmet liners made of Hydroweave.

AquaTex Industries has also signed an agreement with LEAF Racewear & Safety Equipment to
provide Hydroweave fabric to be used in a line of racing suits and inner liners for racing suits.
The new suits are designed for oval, drag and road racing.


For more information on Hydroweave™ contact AquaTex Industries Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., (800)
366-7753.



January 2000
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