Specialty chemical supplier Alexium Intl., Greer, S.C., received a $200,000 contract from the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate its Cleanshell® CB treatment for chemical and biological protection suits. Alexium specializes in reactive surface treatment (RST) technologies that combine chemistry and microwave curing to allow surfaces used by the military to repel water, oil and simulated chemical warfare agents. The Cleanshell CB will be exposed to ‘live’ chemical warfare agents, such as soman and mustard gas, to see if treated surfaces repel chemical or biological weapons. The Air Force developed new reactive particles that resist airborne chemical warfare agents, and Alexium will work to incorporate those particles into textile treatments. The U.S. military buys an estimated 200,000 chemical and biological protection suits each year, representing product sales exceeding $800 million.