PluriProtech's main goal is focused on the development of clothing solutions for active protection and comfort, specifically for military purposes, with the creation of a two-piece RBQ protective suit (jacket and pants) that fills the gaps currently existing in the market. The protective suit should adequately meet the filtration needs of particles and radiological, biological, and chemical agents, at the macro- and nanometer scale and, simultaneously, act in the degradation of these agents maximizing the protection of the user in environments with different levels of risk.
The PluriProtech project has a set of specific objectives, and the R&D strategy is based on three key pillars: barrier effect, active protection, and circular economy:
- Selection of fibrous structures (cotton, polyamide, aramid, among others) from the macro-scale at the micro-scale, as well as their development at the nanoscale by electrowinning processes, with pore size below 200 nanometers, in order to ensure the necessary barrier capacity;
- Functionalization of fibrous structures, by racling processes, and/or during the nanofiber production process, using solutions of up to 2% of active agents (inorganic nanoparticles and/or carbon-based materials), in order to degrade or neutralize incident RBQ threats;
- Combination of multi-scale fibrous structures, namely macro- and micro/nano-scale structures, through stitching processes, to obtain multi-layer structures, for the design of the RBQ protective suit, according to current North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) requirements, namely AEP-38, AEP-52, AEP-72, AEP-85, and ATP-65;
- Product design for individual protection equipment, namely RBQ protective suits that allow optimizing the interaction of the product with the user at ergonomic, protection, and comfort levels;
- Development of personal protective equipment, namely RBQ protection suits, capable of withstanding up to 20 washes, without losing their RBQ protection effect.
Current RBQ protective suits include multi-layered textiles integrating activated carbon as an absorbing agent and another layer, physically separate from the previous one, to provide passive protection. However, secondary contaminants emerge as they build up through the carbon additive. The clothing becomes too heavy and too hot to wear, and is even unbreathable, making it impossible for the wearer to work effectively for prolonged periods of time. Current protective systems only function as passive protective barriers, and it will be important to move to the next level with active functional fibrous architectures.
This approach will enable the company to develop innovative products with a strong technological component, particularly with regard to the development of active protective suits for use in a military context, among others, for protection against radiological, biological, and chemical agents, enabling it to develop products with added value.
The PluriProtech project is promoted by the company Latino Group.