Discovered by DuPont scientists in 1965, Kevlar® is a man-made organic fiber that combines high strength with light weight, comfort, flexibility and protective properties. It is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis.
Best known for its proven performance in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® is also used when there’s a need for:
Life Protection Applications
Kevlar® used in body armor, helmets and other equipment helps protect members of the military, law enforcement officers, corrections personnel and first responders from a variety of threats, including bullets, knives, switchblades and shrapnel.
Many combat vehicles today feature composite panels (called spall liners) composed of Kevlar® and mounted to the inside of the vehicle shell structure. Used alone or in combination with metals or ceramics, spall liners with Kevlar® help increase the survivability of those working in combat vehicles.
In 1987, DuPont and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) started the IACP/DuPont™ Kevlar Survivors’ Club®. This organization recognizes law enforcement and corrections officers who have survived potentially fatal or disabling injuries by wearing personal protective body armor (e.g., bullet- and puncture-resistant vests, helmets and shields.). To date, there are more than 3,000 documented cases in which law enforcement officers have been saved by their personal body armor.
Firefighters benefit from Kevlar® heat- and flame-resistance properties. Maintaining strength under high-temperature conditions, Kevlar® helps protect against thermal hazards up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why Kevlar® fiber can often be found in firefighting turnout gear and accessories.
Kevlar® also helps protect workers in industrial and manufacturing environments. From the auto industry to glass handling, computer assembly and metal stamping, gloves, mittens, sleeves and other apparel made with Kevlar® meet the performance and protection requirements of a diverse group of industries helping workers perform safely and comfortably in demanding environments.
DuPont™ Kevlar® plays an important role in numerous industrial and manufacturing settings. For example, Kevlar® helps manufacturers build aircraft, ships and rail cars that are lighter and more durable, which can result in increased fuel efficiency and lower operating and maintenance costs. Kevlar® also helps improve the safety, performance and durability of automotive components for a wide variety of vehicles, from passenger cars and light trucks to professional race cars.
Offshore oil facilities count on the light weight and all-conditions strength of Kevlar® to carry out vital operations. Kevlar® is the primary strength reinforcement that enables the use of flexible thermoplastic hoses instead of steel tubes. It also helps reinforce pipes that carry oil from the ocean floor to the production platform.
Kevlar® is found in fiber optic cable, where optical fibers must be safeguarded against mechanical stresses to ensure optimal performance. Kevlar®, normally applied in the periphery of the cable, provides the desired protection. Additional Kevlar® properties help manufacturers address the dielectric, light weight, small diameter, flexibility and handling requirements of a fiber optic cable.
In industrial and manufacturing settings, DuPont™ Kevlar® is included in aircraft structural body parts and cabin panels, fiber-optic and electromagnetic cables, automotive belts, tires and hoses. A honeycomb core made of Kevlar® is used to make aircraft -- such as the new Airbus A380 -- lighter, improving fuel efficiency.
Goodyear Tires with Kevlar® Tire Reinforcement
Tire reinforcement was the original application for Kevlar® more than 40 years ago. The light-weight strength of Kevlar® helps protect against road hazards as well as reduces road noise. In 2005, Goodyear introduced Wrangler® and Fortera® tires with SilentArmor Technology™, featuring a layer of Kevlar® under the tread to deliver strength and a smooth and quiet ride. In 2006, Goodyear introduced the Eagle® with ResponsEdge Technology™, which has a sound- and shock-absorbing InsuLayer™ made with DuPont™ Kevlar®.
DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar® The DuPont™ StormRoom™ with Kevlar® is an in-home storm shelter. It features DuPont™ Kevlar® Sheathing inside reinforced wall panels.
In tests conducted by an independent lab, these reinforced panels were able to deflect a 12-foot, 15-pound two-by-four piece of wood shot out of a cannon at 100 miles per hour. This simulates the speed at which a 250-mile-per-hour wind would carry the two-by-four, and meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) performance standard for hurricane and tornado shelters.
New Applications for Kevlar®
DuPont scientists continue to explore new possibilities for Kevlar®. For example, DuPont is working with NASA scientists to develop urethane foam insulation reinforced with Kevlar® for use in future spacecraft.
The DuPont Oval, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, Kevlar®, DuPont™ Kevlar Survivors’ Club® and StormRoom™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.
Wrangler®, Fortera®, SilentArmor Technology™ , ResponsEdge Technology™ and InsuLayer™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.