Latest Kevlar EXO fabric is lighter, more flexible and bulletproof
DuPont has debuted a new version of its famous bulletproof Kevlar fabric called EXO at this year's United States Army Rangers' Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning Georgia. The company says it is the most significant aramid fiber innovation in over 50 years with not only better ballistic protection, but it's also lighter, more flexible, and more heat resistant.
Mention Kevlar and it's likely to bring up images of bulletproof vests, but the material has many more applications. Blankets of it protect the International Space Station from micrometeorites, it reinforces composite boat hulls, is spun into cordage, woven into sails, formed into helmets and fire-resistant clothing, used as a substitute for asbestos, and turned into everything from hockey sticks to tennis rackets.
Small wonder that 55 million tonnes of it under various names are produced worldwide every year.
Technically, Kevlar is an aramid fiber, which is short for aromatic polyamide – a synthetic polymer material formed from aromatic rings of six carbon atoms arranged along the axis of the fiber. Put simply, this makes the end result very strong, abrasion resistant, heat resistant, nonconductive, and non-inflammable under normal conditions.
According to DuPont, Kevlar EXO not only shows improved best-in-class ballistic protection over the previous versions, it is also lighter and more flexible, allowing soft protective vests made out of it to fit better and wear more comfortably. It's also heat resistant to up to 500 °C (932 °F) and is highly durable without a significant loss in performance after five years.
"We’ve spent over a decade developing, refining and perfecting Kevlar EXO, and the result is an industry altering platform that has catapulted our life protection capabilities to a whole new level," said Steven LaGanke, global business leader, DuPont Life Protection. "Developed and tested by leading materials experts at DuPont, Kevlar EXO offers never-before-seen ballistic and thermal performance while also providing a flexible and lightweight solution that empowers users to operate at peak performance. Whether for military members, law enforcement officers, private security or emergency responders, pound for pound, Kevlar EXO users can better manage energy output even during the most demanding physical tasks."
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
I'm saddened that the DuPont release didn't cover the impact differences. When a bullet hits the Kevlar vest, =something= has to absorb it or it continues until the kevlar hits the skin and breaks ribs, etc. until the force is absorbed. Flexible is great for comfort, but won't that also make it less able to absorb impacts?
@vince, Yeah, with the cartels in the new fabric, cops will simply have to start aiming at their melons alone.
You know, the next step will be Kevlar EXO penetrating rounds, and/or high energy beams (10,000+ deg F)
We're so close to Star Wars; it's not funny. Really!