Fibertect™, a nonwoven decontamination wipe developed by researchers at The Institute of
Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Lubbock, Texas-based Texas Tech University (TTU) has been
shown to perform better than 30 other decontamination materials for wiping up toxic chemicals and
chemical warfare agents.
The materials, including some used currently by the US military, were tested using mustard
gas and other toxic chemicals as part of a study conducted at Livermore, Calif.-based Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory. The results of the study, “Next Generation Non-particulate Dry
Nonwoven Pad for Chemical Warfare Agent Decontamination,” have been published in the American
Chemical Society’s journal, “Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.”
Fibertect is a needlepunched fabric comprising two absorbent nonwoven layers covering an
activated carbon core. The wipe was developed by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, supervisor of TTU’s
Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory, and a team of scientists with the Admiral Elmo R.
Zumwalt Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, funded by the
US Department of Defense. The outer layers of the Fibertect wipes that were evaluated in the
Livermore study contained polyester and viscose.
“Needlepunch nonwoven technology has been used to develop this flexible, absorbent and
adsorbent material that can be used not only as a decontamination wipe, but also as the liner of
protective suits, filters and masks,” Ramkumar said. “The material is flexible, doesn’t contain
loose particles and is capable of cleaning intricate parts of everything from the human body to the
control panel of a fighter jet.”
TTU’s Office of Technology Commercialization has licensed the technology to Hobbs Bonded
Fibers, Waco, Texas, and the product is now in production.
December 9, 2008