Stretching the Possibilities of Kevlar®
"Thirty-four million miles above us to several miles below us -- and every point in between -- you're going to find DuPont™ Kevlar®." - Bruce Burkholder, DuPont R&D
It stops bullets and hockey pucks. It's traveled to the depths of the Earth and to the surface of the moon. And you're as likely to find it in a smartphone as in an oven mitt.
Since its introduction in 1965, the DuPont advanced material, Kevlar®, has gone from being synonymous with protective body armor to being woven into a dizzying array of consumer goods in ways many consumers don't even realize.
That there's an ever-growing market for this iconic product after 50 years highlights a critical component of DuPont applied science culture: engineering and design capabilities that continue to innovate even after a product line appears mature -- and the corporate vision to apply existing portfolio products to new market opportunities.
As an advanced material, Kevlar® is lightweight, stronger than steel, cut-resistant and can withstand incredible heat and cold. Its immediate application in the 1960s to bullet-resistant vests and NASA space suits was enormously successful.
In the decades since, as DuPont scientists and engineers have continued to refine Kevlar®, designers have been finding ways to bring its unique qualities to bear on an ever-increasing -- and varied -- number of market segments and industry partners.
The increased durability, tensile strength and versatile nature of Kevlar® has allowed it to be found in everything from high-performance sporting equipment to commercial airliners and spacesuits. It keeps car tires from puncturing, smartphones from getting scratched and hiking boots from wearing out. Through continued innovation, Kevlar® continues to be a key component in body armor -- from the local beat cop to U.S. troops overseas – and now it’s in vehicle armor, protecting military and families alike.
Innovation doesn't always mean a complete overhaul and a discarding of past success. For an advanced material like Kevlar® it’s meant expanding the parameters of the product’s applicability in ways its inventors never could have imagined. Today, Kevlar® is allowing people around the world – elite athletes, astronauts, law enforcement, military, first responders and industrial workers – to push boundaries, defy limits and challenge the conventional. Kevlar® has enabled anyone with an imagination and a job to do to Dare Bigger™.