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Development of a cost-effective moisture and thermal barrier layer for protective clothes based on an innovative combination of warp-knitted textiles and hydrogel polymer coatings, introducing new standards which will prevent low quality im


To address the issue and minimise accidents EU launched directives 89/656/EEC and 89/686/EEC, which oblige employers to make available protective clothes to their employees. Since than the market of protective clothing has been therefore boosted. 98% of the 20000 European companies involved in the protective clothing value chain are SMEs, which are suffering competition from India, China, Japan and Taiwan. As a result non-EU imports in the last 5 years have increased by 34% resulting in a reduction of employment in Europe by 14%.
This is a highly relevant problem for the SME proposers and more in general for the entire European sector. Wearing state of the art protective clothing for indoor work in non-ventilated areas, in hot temperatures or performing physically demanding work hinder a worker ability to remain cool. Workers inability to shed excess heat results each year in 1500 heat strokes in Europe. Less serious consequences of heat stress are more common, affecting 50000 workers per year all over Europe. Our objective is to develop a thermal and moisture management layer based on a 3qweft-knitted flameproof fabric coated with a hydrogel polymer, fully compliant with EU directive 89/656/EEC and 89/686/EEC and standards UNI EN 470-1. This structure, that will replace the thermal layer and moisture barrier in typical three-layered protective clothing fabric, mimics physical mechanisms for human body thermoregulation. This concept has been validated through a feasibility study performed by the partners. However barriers need to be overcome through the achievement of the following scientific and technical objectives:
1) development of a knowledge-based design tool able to predict the peculiar mass and heat transfer flows through the proposed system,
2) design and modelling of the 3D textile structure with the proper selection of hydrophilic and hydrophobic fibres,
3) development of an enabling process to allow the cost-effective deposition of the hydrogel layer

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Via San Nazaro 19

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Participants (9)