On July 2, the U.S. Army notified the Sheep Venture Company (SVC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), that its proposal, Textile Innovation with Washable Wool for an Enhanced Army Combat Glove, had been accepted. This proposal is designed to enhance SVC's ongoing Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract entitled Washable Wool Products for Individual Protection, looking at technology such as superwash.
The Phase II Enhancement project will focus on extending the Phase II efforts to the textile component of the current Army Combat Glove (ACG). The U.S. Army has identified deficiencies in the current simplex or interlock-knitted fabric used in the ACG, which is composed of 96 percent para-aramid and 4 percent anti-stat fiber. In particular, the current glove is colder than desirable when the weather is inclement and hotter than desirable in hot conditions. Further, the glove has demonstrated durability issues. As a result, the U.S. Army is highly interested in developing alternative fabrics for use in the glove.
The approved Phase II Enhanced efforts will focus on the development of a U.S. produced, washable wool-blend fabric capable of overcoming the deficiencies in the current ACG fabric.
The new 18-month contract, worth approximately $200,000, is expected to begin in late September and will run concurrently with SVC's ongoing SBIR contract.
"ASI and SVC are excited for the opportunity to look at additional wool products to help our U.S. military," said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI wool marketing director. "By working closely with our military, we are able to focus and assist with identified and key needs, which make the research so much more meaningful."