SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Concurrent Engineering in the Design of Protective Clothing: Interfacing with Equipment Design


Most protective clothing is designed for use with existing equipment. Sometimes for economic reasons or because of immediate needs, design of protective apparel and associated equipment must take place simultaneously. An example of such a project is described, and a model for a concurrent design process proposed. The project consisted of development of a totally encapsulating chemical protective suit. Suit design was carried out concurrently with design of air supply systems and microclimatic conditioning equipment. Two factors that made this project possible were a system of centralized communication that maintained contact between the various designers, and the implementation of a zone approach to the design of the suit. Each zone was independently supported on the body using a system of bands, straps, and tethers. This allowed design development using a series of partial prototypes of different zones, each appropriate to the current level of development of the associated equipment and each operating relatively independently of the whole. Design work on the suit could therefore continue at the same time as design work on other equipment.

Author Information

Ashdown, SP
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Watkins, SM
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 471–485
DOI: 10.1520/STP14087S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5317-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1987-1