DRDO develops alternative sealant for PPEs

Mass manufacture of the glue to help suit production

Updated - April 03, 2020 08:38 am IST

Published - April 02, 2020 09:37 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The biosuit with seam sealing glue.

The biosuit with seam sealing glue.

In a major breakthrough, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape which is critical in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

A bio suit was also developed to keep medical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus, Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

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“The DRDO has prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on the sealant used in submarine applications. Presently, bio suits prepared using this glue for seam sealing by an industry partner has cleared test at Southern India Textile Research Association (SITRA), Coimbatore,” the Ministry said in a statement.

It said bio suit production in the country by DRDO industry partners and other industries were being hampered due to non-availability of seam sealing tapes. DRDO can mass produce this glue through the industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers.

Boosting production

Presently Kusumgarh Industries, with technology transfer from DRDO, is producing the raw material, coating material, and the complete suit is being manufactured with the help of another vendor, the statement said. “The current production capacity is 7,000 suits per day.”

Another vendor with experience in garment technology is being brought in and efforts are on to ramp up the capacity to 15,000 suits a day, the Ministry stated.

The bio suit was developed with the help of the industry by scientists at various DRDO laboratories by applying the technical know-how and expertise in textile, coating and nanotechnology. It has been subjected to rigorous testing for textile parameters as well as protection against synthetic blood. “The protection against synthetic blood exceeds the criteria defined for body suits by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW),” the statement said.

The DRDO has already developed a number of products and technologies for defence against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) agents for the armed forces. The Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, a laboratory of the DRDO, has developed CBRN Permeable Suit Mk-V and 53,000 of them have been supplied to the Army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

Separately, Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, has designed and developed its own handheld Infra Red (IR) based temperature sensor for screening at its entry gates, which have an average influx of around 20,000 personnel every day.

The instrument has been manufactured through in-house resources at a cost of under ₹1000, a fraction of the cost of the temperature guns in the market, the Navy said.

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