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Milliken & Company is testing flame resistant textiles in space

23. February 2016
By avr - Allgemeiner Vliesstoff-Report

Jeff Strahan, research and development manager of flame resistant textiles at Milliken & Company is spearheading a collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to test flame resistant (FR) textiles in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
On earth, nylon textiles catch on fire and then melt, which is why adequate FR chemistries are critical to create effective FR apparel. But how does FR apparel burn in space without gravity?
To begin, Jeff and his team conducted control experiments at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, using the same technique and equipment that would be used on the ISS. After the control was observed, Milliken flew 40-45 samples of various fabrics with air flow conditions to the ISS for testing.
Ever since, the ISS team has been performing weekly FR textile tests. Each time, Jeff attends video conferences with NASA’s team in Cleveland and on the ISS to watch the experiments as they happen. He’ll also receive the burned samples once the testing is complete.