Water Transport in Bicontinuous, Phase-Separated Membranes Made from Reactive Block Copolymers

Report No. ARL-TR-7148
Authors: Natalie Pomerantz, Samuel C Price; Walter X Zukas; Frederick L Beyer
Date/Pages: December 2014; 18 pages
Abstract: Heat buildup and the effective lifespan of current chemical agent protection for military personnel are still concerns. A semipermeable membrane that allows sweat to escape a chemical protection garment, while rejecting chemical agents, would provide a potential solution for both of these issues. Few semipermeable membranes transport water vapor at a sufficient rate to cool a Soldier working at moderate levels of effort, and the mechanical properties of these materials are also of concern. Membranes fabricated from reactive block copolymers and a small molecule cross-linker using ring-opening metathesis chemistry were tested for their water transport properties. These materials were found to transport water faster than current commercially available membranes at lower humidity levels. The mechanical properties of the membrane still limit its use as a garment in chemical agent protection.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2014