Development and Evaluation of Deep-Sea Swimsuit Materials.
NAVY CLOTHING AND TEXTILE RESEARCH UNIT NATICK MASS
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Two chemically distinct, flexible, syntactic foams--a Unit-developed, polyurethane, hollow-glass-microsphere composite and a proprietary, PVC, hollow-glass-microsphere composite--have been produced which may prove useful for swimsuit applications in deep-sea environments down to 1000 feet of salt water FSW. Tests showed that both materials were essentially incompressible to depths of 1000 FSW less than 3 and provided more insulation than currently used Neoprene-foam materials at depths greater than 20 FSW. The materials, however, were considerably heavier than the foam although significantly less dense than sea water. Standard wet-style swimsuits were fabricated from these experimental materials for verification of sample thermal-conductivity data. Suit conductivity tests performed on an instrumented copper manikin substantially confirmed the material test data obtained with a guarded hot-plate device. During construction of the suits it also became apparent that special designs and fabrication techniques would have to be developed to utilize these materials most effectively. The thermal-conductivity results measured for both material composites were higher than expected based upon theoretical derivations, indicating that further improvements may be possible in this property. Author, modified-PL
- Life Support Systems