Flammability Testing of Fabrics Treated with Oil-Based Shear Thickening Fluids

Report No. ARL-TR-6936
Authors: Paul Nenno, Wai Chin, and Eric D. Wetzel
Date/Pages: May 2014; 30 pages
Abstract: Fabrics treated with paraffinic oil and a paraffinic oil-based shear thickening fluid (STF) are evaluated under flammability testing. The tested fabrics include a woven cotton-nylon blend, a woven Kevlar textile, and a hybrid ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) - Kevlar felt. The oil-based STF is a colloid of silica nanoparticles in a paraffin oil. Test results show that the flammability of fabrics with oil addition is slightly increased, while the flammability of fabrics with STF addition was unchanged or slightly decreased. These results suggest that oil-based STFs could be used as fabric treatments, such as to enhance ballistic, puncture, or stab performance, without a significantly negative effect on flammability. Furthermore, concepts are presented for tailoring an STF to provide enhanced flammability resistance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2014