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Protective Glove Changes Color When It Detects Toxins

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution in Germany have developed clothing that can recognize substances in the surrounding air.

Emma Hutchings
Emma Hutchings on May 7, 2013.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Germany have developed a protective glove that changes color if it detects toxic substances in the surrounding air. Equipped with custom-made sensor materials, the glove changes from colorless (no toxic substance) to blue (toxic substance detected) to warn the wearer immediately.

An indicator dye integrated into the glove reacts to the presence of toxic substances. The sensor-activated dyes are applied to the clothing with the customary dye and print process, for example, by affixing them in an immersion bath.

The research team will exhibit this item of occupational safety clothing at the Sensor + Test trade show in Nuremberg from May 14th-16th. Dr. Sabine Trupp, head of the Fraunhofer EMFT Sensor Materials group, said:

By synthesizing the adapted color sensor materials, we can detect gases like carbon monoxide, for example, or hydrogen sulfide. Still, this protective gear represents only one potential area of application. Sensor materials could also be deployed for the quick detection of leaks in gas lines.

Protective Glove Changes Color When It Detects Toxins

Fraunhofer Research Institution

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