Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont’s Armor Technology Center has developed Kevlar® XP™, a product designed for hard armor ballistic applications such as military and police helmets, and tactical plates in protective vests. Kevlar XP for Hard Armor combines DuPont™ Kevlar KM2 Plus fiber with a thermoplastic resin to create a matrix system. According to the company, using Kevlar XP can reduce the weight of a typical Advanced Combat Helmet by one-half pound compared to helmets currently worn that weigh almost 4 pounds. DuPont also reports that when used in other helmet and tactical plate designs, Kevlar XP for Hard Armor offers increased protection and 20-percent higher ballistic performance.

“DuPont is committed to protecting people around the world through science-based innovations,” said Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “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. 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.”

In related news, DuPont will manufacture Kevlar KM2 Plus, a precursor to Kevlar XP, at a new facility currently under construction near Charleston, S.C. The site — with an estimated construction cost of $500 million — will open in early 2012, boosting the company’s Kevlar production by approximately 25 percent.


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