From gang members to pistol-toting thieves to warring tribes, threats to the population grow with the population itself. Those who protect us from harm ─ military and law enforcement ─ need body protection themselves. Bullet-resistant vests and helmets have been around for decades, but for them to be protective and effective, their body protection must be lightweight and flexible enough for use in a stressful environment, where speed and mobility may mean the difference between life and death.
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For over 35 years, DuPont™ Kevlar® aramid fiber has been a critical component in protective helmets, vests, and vehicle armor. Recent collaborations with military and law enforcement agencies have helped DuPont produce its latest body protection technology — Kevlar® XP™, which was introduced for police vests in 2008. Now Kevlar® XP™ for Hard Armor is available for military helmets. This patent-pending body protection technology combines DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber and a new thermoplastic resin that creates an entire matrix system, optimizing the original technology for helmet applications. It offers 20% higher ballistic performance in helmets and tactical plates, with less weight. That lightens the load of a U.S. military Advanced Combat Helmet by a full half-pound, without sacrificing specified performance.
Providing products that better protect the lives of those who protect us has always been a top priority at DuPont. DuPont constructed a new $500 million Kevlar® fiber facility near Charleston, South Carolina, to meet the needs of first responders and the men and women in our military who put themselves in harm’s way for us back home. Expected to be fully operational by early 2012, the site will help increase worldwide production of Kevlar® by 25% — bringing protection to more individuals who help defend our freedom.