Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Next generation HazMat boots will be more comfotable

Date:
May 27, 2010
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
The rubber boots that emergency personnel wear when responding to situations where hazardous materials are present may be functional, but they're not very comfortable. New research hopes to provide a next generation HazMat boot that meets both criteria.

Local firefighters try out the prototype boots and evaluate them for comfort, stability and traction.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

The rubber boots that emergency personnel wear when responding to situations where hazardous materials (HazMat) are present may be functional, but they're not very comfortable. New research coming out of North Carolina State University hopes to provide a next generation HazMat boot that meets both criteria.

"We've learned from firefighters and other first responders that the current rubber boots are slippery and uncomfortable; they'd prefer a leather boot similar to ones they wear during non-HazMat situations," explains Dr. Roger Barker, professor of Textile Engineering Chemistry and Science, director of the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC), and lead researcher for this study.

HazMat boots have traditionally been made of rubber so that they can easily be decontaminated and cleaned. Leather boots, which are more comfortable, have not been used because leather absorbs liquids -- making decontamination a major technical issue. However, with the availability of new textile materials and surface treatments, researchers at NC State are confident they can develop a comfortable -- and functional -- leather boot for use in both fire-fighting and HazMat operations.

"We're currently in the process of creating prototypes of this new HazMat boot. We have been exploring options like providing a finish to the leather that would reduce chemical absorption, while making it easy to clean and decontaminate," Barker says. "So we're not just creating a leather HazMat boot, we're also designing a simple cleaning method to use on the boot that is readily available to onsite emergency personnel. If they have to send their boots off to a lab to be decontaminated, the boot is no longer functional."

Barker and his team, which includes Dr. Don Thompson, associate director of T-PACC, along with Dr. Keith Beck, Shawn Deaton, Dr. Gerardo Montero, and graduate student Ashley Bradham, have demonstrated the ability of the special leather material to repel toxic chemicals. They are currently conducting their research in T-PACC's state-of-the-art Man-in-Simulant Test (MIST) laboratory -- which allows researchers to evaluate the performance capability of protective footwear, gloves, masks and garments against a non-toxic vapor resembling chemical and biological agents in a manner simulating how those garments systems would be used by a first responder. They are also testing the prototype boots for comfort, ergonomic function, traction and stability.

"We'll be doing tests by visiting fire departments and getting first responders to wear the different prototypes while performing activities such as walking up and down steps, on different terrains, and through a simulated task routine " Barker says.

The research on this new tactical chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) first responder boot is funded by an $800,000 grant from the Department of Defense through the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.

After the final prototype has been demonstrated, it will be evaluated and certified to National Fire Protection Association standards by independent laboratories. Following certification, private footwear companies would be responsible for manufacturing the final product and bringing it to market.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Next generation HazMat boots will be more comfotable." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527151254.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2010, May 27). Next generation HazMat boots will be more comfotable. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527151254.htm
North Carolina State University. "Next generation HazMat boots will be more comfotable." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100527151254.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins