Transport Properties of N-Methylolated Nylon-6: Chitosan Blend Membranes

Report No. ARL-TR-3917
Authors: Eugene Napadensky; Yossef A. Elabd
Date/Pages: September 2006; 22 pages
Abstract: A series of N-Methylolated Nylon-6-chitosan blend membranes was evaluated for their potential use as breathable (high water transport) barriers (low chemical agent transport) for military and civilian protective clothing apparel. Nylon-6 was methylolated and subsequently blended with chitosan at different compositions and processing conditions (room temperature, 100 ?C, and 200 ?C). Vapor transport rates of water (breathability) and dimethyl methylphosphonate (protection) (a simulant of the nerve agent Sarin) were measured as a function of these blend parameters with the use of a modified ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) method E-96-95 and were compared to Nafion1 117. Water transport rate was found to be between 1,000 and 2,000 g/m2day, depending on specific composition of the membranes and thermal treatment. The effective dimethylmethylphosphonate permeability (a thickness independent value) of the blend membranes was two orders of magnitude lower than Nafion 117. The selectivity of N-Methylolated Nylon-6-chitosan blend was 15.3, seven times higher than Nafion 117. It was shown that these membranes, manufactured when hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers were conjoined, have resulted in a material that is both breathable and protective. These semi-permeable membranes will be economically attractive for military and civilian applications in the area of personal protection since the polymer components are inexpensive and the membrane fabrication is simple. 1Nafion is a registered trademark of DuPont.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2006