Kevlar

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  • Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires. Typically it is spun into ropes or fabric sheets that can be used as such or as an ingredient in composite material components.
  • Currently, Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its high tensile strength-to-weight ratio; by this measure it is 5 times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. When used as a woven material, it is suitable for mooring lines and other underwater applications.
  • Kevlar® is used as a reinforcement material for some car tyres and bicycle tyres. It helps dramatically reduce puncture rates.
  • Kevlar® 29 is used in the manufacture of body armour (panels) for lightweight military vehicles. A good example is the US Army’s ‘Bradley Fighting Vehicle’. This has been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kevlar® 29 was selected for its armour, because it is lightweight and withstands attack from RPGs. The Kevlar® 29 panels protect the soldiers inside the vehicle.
  • Kevlar® 49 is used for specialist boat hulls and in the aerospace industry. It is popular as a material for boats because it is lightweight and can withstand a considerable amount of force (torque - twisting force), tensile stress and impact. Hulls manufactured from traditional materials, such as fibreglass, are limited in their resistance to forces and stress. Also, a lightweight boat is faster on the water and uses less fuel to complete distances.
  • When Kevlar is used as a composite with rubber, it retains its flexibility. This composite material is used in the manufacture of Formula One Racing Car petrol tanks. The tank holds the petrol safely, even in the event of an accident. The material cannot be pieced by other car components, even during a high speed impact. The petrol does not escape/leak, avoiding fire and explosions. The lightweight tank, adds to the reduced weight of the entire vehicle, leading to a faster racing car.
  • Kevlar is revolutionary and its design innovations make it one of the toughest commercial materials in existence today. One day, it could save your life, one way or the other.

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