Design and Evaluation of Cold Water Diving Garments Using Super-Insulating Aerogel Fabrics

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Design and Evaluation of Cold Water Diving Garments Using Super-Insulating Aerogel Fabrics

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Title: Design and Evaluation of Cold Water Diving Garments Using Super-Insulating Aerogel Fabrics
Author: Nuckols, ML; Hyde, DE; Wood-Putnam, JL; Giblo, J; Caggiano, GJ; Henkener, JA; Stinton, B
Abstract: Experimental cold water diving garments have recently been developed under sponsorship of the Office of Naval Research using super-insulation materials based on aerogel composites. These garments use a flexible, drapeable aerogel composite insulation which has the thermal performance equal to the best known solid insulation (brittle monolithic aerogels) in a much more practical form. Thermal manikin testing at the Naval Clothing and Textile Research Facility (NCTRF) in Natick, MA has verified that these prototype drysuit liners have inherent thermal insulation values up to 76% greater than commercially-available liners fabricated from 400-weight micro-fibrous polypropylene batts. Recent dive trials at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) in Panama City, FL with three prototype aerogel garments showed significant improvements in diver thermal protection when compared to baseline commercially-available drysuits. This paper gives an overview of the integration of aerogel fabrics in cold water diving garments, and summarizes the improvements in thermal performance documented during recent laboratory trials.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10112
Date: 2009

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