Through the Ringer
By Ms. Becki Bryant (ATEC)November 21, 2019
Hot, dry, humid and cold -- Warfighters are immersed into extreme conditions, and Dugway's West Desert Test Center (WDTC) is ensuring that new Warfighter suits will hold up to those extreme conditions and still properly protect against a chemical or biological threat.
The formal test name is Uniform Integrated Protection Ensemble Family of Systems (UIPE FoS). It is a rigorous pretreatment of new suits, both under and over garments, for the Joint Services. The suits are shocked with a hot-dry, hot-humid and cold cyclical operational temperatures following U.S. Military standards MIL-STD 810G.
"We look to see if the extreme environments--high humidity, very dry conditions, and temperatures ranging from -28 degrees Fahrenheit to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit--will cause the suits to fail," said John Tobler, WDTC chemist and test officer.
WDTC employees completed the environmental testing of the new suits in October. Another set of new suits is undergoing a 29-week accelerated aging test that simulates 10 years on the shelf. That test will be finished by the end of January 2020; then it's time for swatch testing, which will take swatches of the UIPE FoS tested suits and compare those to new swatches of the same material. The swatch tests will be conducted at the WDTC with its new Swatch Permeation Test Fixture, Reengineered (SPITFIRE).
For more information on SPITFIRE, visit https://www.dugway.army.mil/documents/TheDispatch-Vol5-No9-FINAL-Sep19.pdf