As doctors, paramedic staff, nurse and other healthcare workers work relentlessly to cure patients of the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world, they put their own life at risk.
To ensure these front line workers have a strong line of defence against the contagious virus, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio-suit to keep them safe.
Scientists at various DRDO laboratories have applied their technical know-how and expertise in textile, coating and nanotechnology to develop the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having a specific type of fabric with coating.
The suit has been prepared with the help of the industry and subjected to testing for textile parameters as well as protection against synthetic blood (a substitute that can fulfil some functions of the body's blood). The protection against synthetic blood exceeds the criteria defined for body suits by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
DRDO has partners the firm Kusumgarh Industries to produce the raw material and coating material. Another vendor is being brought in with the experience in garment technology and efforts are on to ramp up the capacity to 15,000 suits per day.
The current production capacity is 7,000 suits per day.
However, the statement by DRDO says, the bio-suit production is being hampered due to non-availability of seam sealing tapes. But, it is not a deterrent. DRDO has prepared a sealant drawing inspiration from sealant used in submarine applications as an alternative.
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. This can be a game-changer for the textile industry. The DRDO can mass produce this glue through the industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers.