Since ventilation is limited in space suit gloves, humidity and water tends to accumulate in the glove, leading to finger injuries like onycholysis. TDA Research is proposing to develop a new composite material that allows facilitated water transport for sweat and humidity removal. The new fabric will be a hybrid of polyamide (Nylon) and a chemically-modified fabric which will transport the moisture out of the gloves. In the Phase I project, we will carry out proof-of-concept experiments to demonstrate the viability of the new water transporting composite under representative conditions. Composite samples will be subjected to rigorous testing to assess their performance, as well as processability and endurance. Optimized layered combinations will be subjected to various water challenges in an environmental chamber. Finally, we will also carry out a high-fidelity engineering analysis to estimate the cost of the composite materials as a function of production volume.
Since Extravehicular Activities can last up to 8 hours, comfort and prevention of hand injuries can be increased by controlling the space suit glove atmosphere. TDA Research proposes to develop a new composite material for facilitated water transport that can be integrated into the space suit glove bladder to provide a means to prevent water/humidity accumulation in the glove. The facilitated transport membrane also has applications for NASA in adult diapers.
The enhanced water wicking capability of this new composite will enable its use in advanced fabrics and sports apparel. The chemically modified fabric will work far better than today’s water wicking porous fabrics. Adult diapers are another application with a large commercial market. This technology would be particularly useful for patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities.