A foam shape must be replaced with a knitted, woven, or nonwoven fabric that derives its thickness from the geometric structure of its components. The current application uses polyurethane foams that range from millimeters to 2 cm thick. The foams offer little or no ventilation in a situation where air circulation can be critical. New materials at the fiber level must be used to create a light fabric with a build-in structural thickness and loft. Possible solution areas include mathematical models of knitting matrices and nonwoven manufacturing techniques.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the May, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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