Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football boasts young, balanced rushing attack going into 2016 season -

August 9, 2016

UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

August 9, 2016

UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass researchers working to develop protective ‘second skin’ for military uniforms

Research teams at the University of Massachusetts, along with several other organizations, have received a five-year $1.8 million grant to develop a new layer of protection in the fabric of future military uniforms, according to a news release.

Courtesy of Army Spc. Kerry Fox

The grant, part of a $13 million project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will aid UMass scientists Kenneth Carter and James Watkins, working with team leader Francesco Fornasiero of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), to develop the nanotube-based fabric, the release said.

The fabric will be designed to withstand harmful chemical and biological factors experienced in warfare, with the researchers saying it could be incorporated in military uniforms within 10 years, according to the release.

The fabric would mimic the way real skin operates and responds to certain environments. It would have the ability “to switch reversibly from a highly breathable state to a protective one in response to the presence of the environmental threat without the need for an external control system,” the release said.

“The uniform will be like a smart second skin that responds to the environment,” Fornasiero said in the press release.

According to the release, “the fabric would switch to a protective state by closing the pore entrance or by shedding the contaminated surface layer” when exposed to a harmful chemical agent.

“This futuristic uniform would allow our military forces to operate safely for extended time periods and successfully complete their missions in environments contaminated with chemical and biological warfare agents,” said Tracee Harris, science and technology manager for the Dynamic Multifunctional Material for a Second Skin Program, in the release.

Features of the “second skin” fabric include a high level of breathability due to extremely ventilated membranes as well as an effusion response element which would allow the fabric to exfoliate following interaction with dangerous chemical agents, the release said.

“Mimicking the way real skin responds to threats by exfoliation and shedding of contaminated areas will allow for a dynamic responsive garment, all achieved through controlled chemical reactions in this new advanced fabric,” Carter said in the release.

The team of UMass researchers in addition to Carter, Watkins and, includes Jeffrey Morse and YuYing Tang. Six other researchers are also working on the project, representing institutions such as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and Chasm Technologies, Inc. of Canton.

Chelsie Field can be reached at cfield@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment