Breathability Characterization of Ballistic Fabrics, Including Shear Thickening Fluid-Treated Fabrics

Report No. ARL-TR-4392
Authors: Wai K. Chin; Eric D. Wetzel
Date/Pages: March 2008; 18 pages
Abstract: The breathability of a series of ballistic fabrics and shear thickening fluid (STF)-treated ballistic fabrics was evaluated. Breathability was characterized using measurements of water vapor transport rate through fabric samples. The results show that uncoated ballistic fabrics offer good breathability that is only slightly lower than conventional military outer garments. Ballistic fabrics treated with STF show a slight decrease in breathability, as compared with uncoated fabrics. Ballistic fabrics with continuous polymer coatings, however, exhibit very low water vapor transport rates. These results indicate that fabrics treated with STF introduce no significant penalty in breathability relative to conventional, uncoated ballistic fabrics.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2008