Anti Bacterial Military Tent Walls

Combat wounds and field hospital surgery: There are just so many opportunities for an injury to become infected. And infection, after a traumatic injury itself, is the leading cause of amputations, according to medical officials.

The more you can eliminate opportunities for infection the better off the patient is going to be.

At the annual Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, a company that manufactures deployable shelters is now displaying a field hospital variant whose interior walls are custom made to kill bacteria.

“Embedded in the interior fabric of the shelter is a solution that is basically antimicrobial. It kills bacteria on contact,” says Marcel Branis, vice president of manufacturing for DHS Technologies in Orangeburg, N.Y.

According to the company’s literature, the bug-killing fabric is called XYTEX 500 and it offers 99.99 percent protection against microbes and other disease-causing microorganisms that come into contact with it. Branis says the solution doesn’t kill microbes in the air within the shelter, nor any that come into contact with anything else in the environment.

But if anything splatters or spills or is rubbed up against the walls, the microbes are going to die.

The company describes the solution as “a formulation of nano size spikes” ingrained into the fabric. When microbes come into contact with the material the spikes puncture their cell walls, killing them.

Branis said the fabric also prevents the growth of algae, fungi and mold.

The shelter is the latest in a line of DRASH shelters made by DHS Technologies. The shelters can be assembled in any number of patterns, or footprints, depending on how users want to deploy them. About six years ago it began marketing a command and control shelter that comes with lightweight projectors and audio-visual systems.

The shelters have been used by military and humanitarian relief organizations around the world, including as relief shelters and medical facilities during earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010 and as headquarters and security centers during the wildfires in California.

— Bryant Jordan

  • brian

    right the tent is anti bacterial, but everything in it isn’t? If they were really serious about killing germs, they would start making things out of copper, or at least copper plate it since copper kills about 99% of all bacteria on contact.

    • Brian Black

      Copper tents are a lot heavier. Far less practical.

    • Alex

      Also expensive.

      • brian

        How much does it costs to treat an infection that didn’t need to happen? How much do you save by having soldiers be more combat ready because they aren’t sick?

        There are many kinds of costs and savings, we should weight them all.

  • anonymouser

    Yeah, enjoy your pneumoconiosis, guys.

  • blight

    There’s always silver, which can be woven into stuff. Again, expensive. Begs the question of how cheap they’re making this special material out of.

    If they could make gloves out of the stuff cheaply enough it might be more interesting. As it is, users have to keep switching dispo nitrile gloves, a time and concentration delaying procedure. Or you try to sterilize them, which means you might introduce whatever you are sterilizing to what you are working on.

  • Lance

    Sounds good for field hospitals.

  • Matt Korte

    Nothing can destroy all living organisms, but the threat can be reduced by reducing the concentration of organisms in the air. One way to do this is with a fan and a filter, but that takes power and moving parts. However, the tent walls have a lot of surface area, and they’ve managed to make that surface deadly. As air moves around and organisms diffuse through it, a lot of them will touch the wall. If the wall kills most organisms that touch it, then the concentration of organisms in the air goes down.

    This product could be a lot more effective than it seems.

  • blight

    I wonder if they can make a bandage material with XYTEX on their adhesive surface. Slap it onto a wound, and let the XYTEX kill bacteria or somesuch. Now /that/ would be a useful first aid application: Kill as many bacteria as you can while containing the wound as early as possible. Can’t go wrong there.

    • icedrake

      Except for the part where it would indiscriminantly wipe out blood cells, skin cells, nerve cells…

      • blight

        Now we’re saying it’ll punch through the dermis?

        • icedrake

          I thought you were suggesting applying this to open wounds.

        • icedrake

          I thought you were suggesting applying the bandage to open wounds.

        • icedrake

          Since for whatever reason, *this* is the comment that must be approved by a moderator…

          I thought you were suggesting applying this to open wounds, not healthy skin.

  • Roy Smith

    I’m pretty sure that the mobile operating room/theaters come with a ventilation system that would keep outside air out of the room through positive air pressure. the problem is not being able to scrub down the tent walls to kill the germs. XYTEX takes care of that. Soaps used to scrub down equipment & kill germs can be toxic to humans(if taken internally) &/or cause severe irritation if they come in contact with skin. XYTEX is most likely no different & IS A BAD IDEA for bandages.