Kevlar® for Better-Performing Marine Composites
DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber helps deliver lightweight strength, stiffness, and impact resistance for the composites industry.
Kevlar® in marine composites and maritime vessel composites helps provide an ideal balance of strength, stiffness, and lightweight properties for many marine applications. In patrol and service boats, higher speeds can be achieved by increasing engine power — this option has the potential to be prohibitively expensive. Another way is to reduce weight by incorporating Kevlar® reinforcement in existing laminate constructions or in new designs. DuPont helps hulls reinforced with Kevlar® be lighter yet tougher and more damage-tolerant, and perform better under hydrodynamic fatigue loading.
In luxury yachts and large vessels 96 feet in length or more, hull and superstructure weight is a smaller proportion of total weight than in patrol or service boats. Larger boats still need to be constructed at minimum weight or within certain weight limitations. In this case, however, weight reductions are usually made to achieve speed increases, or to trade off the weight saved for improved fuel economy, for increased payload, or to carry more accessories. Kevlar® has proven to be highly effective for the construction of hulls, superstructures, bulkheads, and furniture that helps to make them both tough and durable.
The use of Kevlar® fiber in leisure boats and for competition maxis, sailboats, and powerboats has gained wide recognition in the competition world. Sailboats (maxis) for participating in prestigious events such as the America’s Cup, the Glove Challenge, and the Whitbread Cup, as well as numerous offshore world championship powerboats, have attributed their success to the use of Kevlar® fiber in the construction of hulls and superstructures (including Kevlar® honeycombs in composite structures and Kevlar® fiber in sails). If speed is the main criterion for using advanced composite materials, their resistance to tough conditions comes in a close second.
The massive blades of modern windmill designs use energy composites featuring the light weight and structural rigidity of honeycomb composites based on DuPont™ Kevlar® Mechanical Paper. It helps to minimize rotational weight and make the transfer of energy as efficient as possible.
Construction composites strengthening concrete structures
Kevlar® helps deliver performance and value to customers in the construction composites industry by providing better elongation properties. Kevlar® helps contain cracks in the structures and may help prevent injury to people from accidents caused by construction mistakes when natural disasters occur.
Kevlar® filament-wound pressure bottles
Bottles containing pressurized oxygen (or other gases) on airplanes use molded casings made from Kevlar® filament to help reduce the overall weight of the aircraft. An ordinary alloy-encased bottle can suffer catastrophic failure, releasing metal fragments into the aircraft at high velocity, whereas a bottle using a Kevlar® casing may risk ductile failure — rupturing, rather than disintegrating — which does not result in fragmentation.
Best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar® brand aramid fiber is credited with helping to save thousands of lives. Lightweight and extraordinarily strong, it’s used to make a variety of clothing, accessories, and equipment safer, more cut resistant and durable.
INFORMATION & IDEAS
Suited for Space
“Suited for Space,” a DuPont-sponsored Smithsonian exhibition on an extended tour, highlights the history of spacesuits and the importance of many leading DuPont protective materials to space innovation.