Wading / Submersion Fabric Durability Optimization

Wading / Submersion Fabric Durability Optimization | Sponsor: Patagonia, Inc.

Sponsor:

Patagonia, Inc.

Team Members:

Trey Everhart

Chelsea Lloyd

Jesse Noble

Chris West

Project Statement:

Currently, fabrics that are used in submersion and wading products are not only stiff, dense, and heavy, but they also have poor breathability, causing discomfort for the wearer. Throughout the lifetime of these types of products, they tend to fail due to the separation of layers which is ultimately caused by bonds becoming weak between layers. Three other main areas of failure are the attachment of booties, seams failing, and the occurrence of punctures. Our goal is to first create a test method for fabrics that will determine whether or not the fabric will stay waterproof through use. The failure mode for these fabrics will test how durable the fabric is to surface wear, puncture resistance, interlayer adhesion, and, if used, the fabrics resistance to hydrolysis  of any coating or adhesives on the fabric. After benchmarking current innovative technology as well as Patagonia’s given resources, we will proceed in developing a prototype fabric based on the criteria and constraints that are listed below, while keeping Patagonia’s mission statement of: Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis in mind.