Quality Fabric Of The Month: New Fabric Makes Protective Garments More Parch Proof

Hydroweave™ 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)

January 2000