De La Salle University’s I-Nano Solutions, a research facility committed to developing nanotech products and services for both industry and society, has embarked on a Php15 million collaborative, Department of Science and Technology-funded project on abaca fabric for spacesuits application.
DLSU is undertaking the project in collaboration with Technological University of the Philippines, FEATI University, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, and the Philippine Textile Research Institute.
Entitled “Fabrication and Characterization of Hydrophobic Nanocomposite Plated Abaca Fabric for the Enhanced Electromagnetic Interference Shielding (EMI-SE) and Thermal Resistance (TR) for Spacesuits Application,” the project seeks to produce a less expensive but competitive Thermo Mechanical Garment (TMG).
TMG is the outermost layer worn by a space explorer. Also, it is responsible for the protection from electromagnetic waves and extreme temperature changes.
The study aims to fabricate a layered structure of fabric out of Abaca fibers coated by nanocomposite material for electromagnetic interference shielding and thermal resistance.
“Since 1960s, when extra vehicular activity (EVA) has been introduced, there is a higher demand for more protective and mobile spacesuits for space explorers. Exposure to harmful electromagnetic waves and extreme temperature condition in the outer space are the most life-threatening factors to consider in designing spacesuits,” according to Dr. Gil Nonato Santos, Vice Chancellor of the DLSU Laguna Campus and head of the I-Nano team.
Funded by the DOST EXECOM, the research broke ground this February and is set for completion by January 2022.