New Project of DARPA to Make PPB Suits to Revolutionize the whole Protective Fabrics Market

  • Analysis
  • 26-April-2021

Protective Fabric refers to such textile material that safeguards any person or product wearing it from coming in contact with the harmful elements present in the environment. Such protective gears are usually used by military and medical personnel as their work exposes them to all adverse elements present in the environment.

In consonance with this, a new form of protective gear is set to be developed that would further reduce the chemical and biological threats on a person once the suit comes into contact with such elements. This is revolutionary progress for Protective Fabrics Market as the novel fabrics would be embedded with catalysts and chemistries and will be formed into protective suits and other essential equipment like gloves, eye protection and boots. This is decided with the objective that the new gear should be beneficial for troops, medical experts and healthcare workers among others.

This project is of Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and has been won by FLIR Systems Inc. The company has received the initial funding of $ 11.2 Million and would probably need an estimated amount of $ 20.5 Million for five year long effort, including options.

The project of DARPA for making PPBs (Personalized Protective Biosystems) program is based on the goal of reducing the substantial weight and physiological burden that is caused due to current PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment). This would enable task force and other specialists to perform their given task in a better capacity. The new protective suits will amalgamate novel and lightweight, protective material available in the market with new prophylactic medical technologies. In turn, it is resulting in a product that has the ability to mitigate biological and chemical threats at vulnerable tissue areas such as lungs, eyes, and skins. The most practical side of this development would be that troops and first responders would be able to operate without the burden or need for carrying PPE kits with them. This is because carrying PPE may cause heat stress and reduce the time that can be spent on a given mission.

FLIR and its associated partners will produce a prototype fabric material of the ISPS (Integrated Soldier Protective System) so that it could be tested by government laboratories. It has been decided that FLIR would be responsible for all the work in Pittsburgh. The ISPS award is comprised of a two-year base period, then the two-year first option, and finally, of one-year final option. At the end of five years, the result would be a suite of prototype protective fabrics and garments that would be adept for transition to a program of record with Defence, U.S. Department.

The companies involved in the project are optimistic that with lives at stake, operators wearing PPB suits in their respective fields instead of PPE kits will provide them with a major edge in staying protected from toxic chemicals and biological threats like current coronaviruses.

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