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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Flame Retardant Cotton Fabrics for Military

Authors
item Ruppenicker, George - COLLABORATOR
item Sawhney, Amar
item Kimmel, Linda
item Calamari Jr, Timothy

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2004
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Citation: Ruppenicker, G.F., Sawhney, A.P., Kimmel, L.B., Calamari Jr, T.A. 2004. Flame retardant cotton fabrics for military. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD-ROM. p. 2717.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton fabrics treated with modern flame-retardant and easy-care finishes often cannot meet rigid military specifications. Research has demonstrated that stronger, more durable fabrics can be produced from cotton yarns that are reinforced with small percentages of high-tenacity manufactured fibers. Softness, absorbency, breathability, and other desirable properties of all-cotton are preserved. Use of the "reinforced fabrics" should help advance cotton as a major fiber for military fabrics, and this could make it more competitive in those markets where high strength and improved durability are required.

Technical Abstract: Although cotton has many natural advantages, its use for both military and industrial fabrics has declined, largely because high strength requirements cause these fabrics to be excessively heavy. Many cotton fabrics treated with modern flame-resistant and easy-care finishes cannot meet the high performance standards required by the military. However, stronger, more durable fabrics have been produced from predominantly cotton yarns that are reinforced with high-tenacity manufactured fibers through both intimate blending and filament-core yarn techniques. The fibers evaluated included Nomex, Kevlar, nylon, glass and polyethylene. The fabrics produced were treated with flame-resistant and durable-press finishes. Since the yarns contained approximately 70% or more cotton, softness, absorbency, breathability and other desirable properties of cotton were preserved. Fabrics designed for both military uniforms and tentage are discussed.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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