Date of Award

Winter 2014

Project Type


Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Nivedita R Gupta

Second Advisor

Glenn Shwaery

Third Advisor

Kyung Jae Jeong


Anti-Traction Material (ATM) is a highly viscous and viscoelastic aqueous polymer solution that has been demonstrated as an effective area denial, non-lethal technology. However, current means of dispersing ATM require on site pumping of the reagents and large tanks for reagent storage. The moment that ATM is dispensed onto a surface it also begins to dry out, starting the clock on the time it is effective. To counter these problems, ATM has been successfully encapsulated using the inverse alginate gelation technique. To produce capsules of ATM, a novel method of producing drops of the highly viscous and viscoelastic ATM solution was developed. The difference in effective duration between unencapsulated and encapsulated ATM was evaluated through coefficient of friction measurements. An emulsion of 40 wt% alginate solution and 60 wt% silicon oil produces a capsule that offers at minimum an 118% increase in the effective duration of ATM. The capsule's ATM contents can then be dispensed by a rupturing pressure on the order of 3x104 Pa, coating the rupturing object and the surface under it with ATM. Optimization of the capsule size and the concentration of ATM core was investigated. Increasing capsule size was shown to decrease the drying rate by 21% at 48 hours. Decreasing the initial concentration of ATM in the capsule core may also have a similar positive effect on the drying rate.