NCSU MIST Lab Tests Protective Garments

The North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Textiles, Raleigh, N.C., has opened a
state-of-the-art Man-In-Simulant Test (MIST) facility at the College’s Textile Protection and
Comfort Center (T-PACC). The facility was funded by a $2 million US Department of Defense grant
secured by Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C.

The new facility enables testing of complete protective ensemble suits in nontoxic chemical
vapors that are similar to toxic chemical and biological agents, and will provide test results and
analysis more quickly than other such facilities, according to NCSU. Testing will be conducted on
mannequins and on human subjects performing first-responder-type tasks in a controlled environment.
Analysis of adhesive pads worn underneath the garments being tested will reveal vapor penetration
levels through the fabric and at the garments’seams and closures.

The MIST facility willbe supervised by T-PACC Director Dr. Roger Barker and joins the
center’s facilities for mannequin-testing of thermal protective and comfort properties of apparel.
The facility provides a readily accessible lab to test prototype firefighter turnout gear developed
by Barker, who had received a grant in 2003 from the Department of Homeland Security to develop
such a suit with improved protection from heat and toxins as well as enhanced comfort and

“The new MIST lab will be integrated into our existing garment testing facilities and
increases our ability to provide accurate studies of protective gear in a more timely manner,”
Barker said. “This facility complements all of the research we engage in and will accelerate the
development process for new types of protective gear.”

September/October 2008