DuPont has launched a new product called Kevlar XP for Hard Armor to provide extra protection and extra performance in ballistic applications. The product is initially targeted at military and police helmet markets and tactical plates used in ballistic protective vests.
According to DuPont, an Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) used by the U.S. military today can weigh almost four pounds and DuPont Kevlar XP for Hard Armor provides a half pound (0.5 lb.) reduction in weight, which is vital to operating in stressful physical environments where moving quickly and efficiently is critical to protecting soldiers and marines.
For other helmet and tactical plate designs, Kevlar XP for Hard Armor is said to be able to offer 20% higher ballistic performance and increased protection, without sacrificing other performance requirements.
“DuPont is committed to protecting people around the world through science-based innovations. One of our goals is to provide the U.S. military with new products that provide significantly better protection for soldiers so they can more effectively complete their missions,” said Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “The U.S. military was looking for a lighter weight helmet option and DuPont developed this new product in less than a year. Using our integrated science and more than 40 years of experience, we were able to offer a solution that not only addresses the military’s needs to ‘lighten the load,’ but also to better protect the lives of those who protect us.”
Developed under the Kevlar XP platform, the increased ballistic protection offered by Kevlar XP for Hard Armor makes the new system usable in a variety of ballistic applications, including but not limited to military, law enforcement and homeland security segments. The new product was developed at DuPont’s Armor Technology Center in Wilmington, where the company’s integrated science capability, focusing on the latest innovations in life protection technologies to design, produce and test prototypes of helmets and composite panels for helmet and vehicle armour applications.
Kevlar fibre has been a critical component of providing protection for the military in helmets, vests and vehicle armour for more than 30 years, and is widely used in the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) worn by U.S. troops today.
The patent-pending Kevlar XP for Hard Armor is a combination of DuPont Kevlar KM2 Plus fibre and a new thermoplastic resin that DuPont says creates an entire matrix system, improving upon the original Kevlar technology. Kevlar KM2 Plus, a precursor to Kevlar XP for hard armour, will be produced at DuPont’s new $500 million Kevlar facility currently under construction near Charleston, S.C. The site, which is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2012, will produce Kevlar fibres for the military, law enforcement and other industrial applications, and will help increase worldwide production of Kevlar by 25%.