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Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene

The efficiency and stamina of military, police and security workers have constantly been impacted by the weight of their apparel. Nevertheless, today, significant trends are heightening the effect of weight and emphasizing the immediate demand for brand-new, lighter products that can provide top-notch safety integrated with efficiency for use. Several international government efforts are in progress to lower the weight of personal safety equipment for soldiers.

DSM, the manufacturer of Dyneema®, foresees the adoption of next-generation lighter product innovations as a vital part of the solution. Many professionals back this opinion. They have projected the increase of use of UHMwPE products in personal protection and vehicle armouring within the next 5 years to be in double-digits.

The demand for lighter protection

There are two critical factors that contribute to the trends within the police force. A need for body armor that can provide both greater ballistic efficiency as a lighter weight.

Police forces are moving to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).06 standard. In 2008, NIJ Standard 0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, indicated the most recent advancement in requirements by which police ballistic vests are tested. It develops brand-new and upgraded minimum efficiency requirements and test techniques for the ballistic resistance of individual body armor made to secure the upper body against gunfire. According to 32-year police veteran, Dale Stockton, who is the editor-in-chief of Law Officer Magazine

The new NIJ .06 standard provided some genuine difficulties to manufacturers and there have actually been some very early remarks which suggested that 06-compliant shield was more stiff and less versatile. But I’m positive that manufacturers will discover a means to work within the requirements and work with NIJ to supply a ballistic vest that simply keeps getting much better. The marketplace will drive this and eventually the officers will benefit.

Some officers stay clear of using bulletproof vests for reasons of convenience. Compulsory wear policies are gradually becoming the standard throughout the nation. However some officers still prefer to go without armor. They rationalize their action merely or find excuses with either being assigned to an administrative duty or on a training day. Can you hazard a guess how many police officers don’t wear vests lately? There are good signs pointing to the fact that about 40% of uniformed law enforcement agents do not wear body armor to work. According Stockton, whenever they carry out Below 100 training, you’ll realize that many officers are without body armor. And when you try to find out about their reasons, the most frequent answers are ‘It is hot’, and ‘it is uncomfortable’. “In fact, even when I did training in Alaska in December, that was the same response.” Stockton stated.

Dyneema UHMwPE products offer top-notch ballistic efficiency integrated with lightweight and versatility for improved convenience and dexterity for the body shield. Naturally, Dyneema UHMwPE fiber is 40 percent lighter than competitive products yet provides extraordinary ballistic safety in addition to outstanding resistance to moisture and chemicals. To satisfy the international need for improved safety while remaining within the strict budget requirements, DSM Dyneema is strives to offer the very best solutions to the police and armed forces.

dyneema force multiplier

dyneema force multiplier

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DSM logo

DSM Dyneema, the manufacturer of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber, branded as Dyneema®, and world leader in life protection materials and high performance fibers, has informed its customers this week of a global price increase of 5% for all DSM Dyneema fiber and uni-directional (UD) product lines.

The price increase will be effective as per January 1st 2014 or as contracts allow.

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    Aramid fabric woven para aramid_

    In addition to news and developments in the body armor industry we are also centralizing information on all ballistic fabrics manufacturers right here. This resource can be used for numerous purposes and will be updated on a regular basis. If you would like to add your company or report a ballistic fabrics manufacturer that is not listed please contact us. All manufacturer links on this reference page are inactive with the exception of those who are a Advertiser/Sponsor or those who provide a reciprocal link to BodyArmorNews.com.






    Teijin Aramid

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    The Letter of Intent was signed by Dirk Louwers, marketing manager Life Protection, EMEA, DSM Dyneema, Bastiaan de Koning, director sales, EMEA, DSM Dyneema, Nail Kurt, general manager and CEO, FNSS, and Reed McPeak, assistant general manager, FNSS. It was signed in the presence of The Netherlands Minister of Defence, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, at the DSM Dyneema booth #284A in Hall 2.

    DSM Dyneema, the manufacturer of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber, branded as Dyneema®, and world leader in life protection materials, today announced a major new milestone for its lightweight, cost-effective Dyneema® BT10 ballistic tape. FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş., a leading producer of armored vehicles based in Turkey, won an important contract from an Asian government to manufacture 8×8 “PARS©” amphibious armored personnel vehicles featuring spall liners made with BT10. Importantly, cost effective BT10 combined with its superior ballistic performance enabled FNSS to meet the highly stringent specifications for the spall liner.

    Spall liners protect vehicle occupants from high-velocity fragments that are created when, for example, explosive shells send shock waves through the vehicle’s metal armor. In developing the armored vehicles, FNSS says it put special emphasis on mobility, protection, and payload. FNSS will use Dyneema® BT10 tape for spall liners in 257 PARS© (Turkish for Anatolian leopard) vehicles. The amphibious vehicle will be supplied in 12 variants during 2013-2018.

    “At FNSS, we take life protection very seriously and are committed to providing the highest possible degree of safety to the men and women who operate and travel in the vehicles we produce,” said Javier Garcia, Chief Engineer and ballistics specialist at FNSS. “This is why we selected BT10 from DSM Dyneema – one of the toughest, most lightweight and cost-effective ballistic-resistant materials in the world. Spall liners made with BT10 can make a tremendous difference in life-threatening situations. Not only was it a good business decision to choose this high-performance tape technology, but it’s a good feeling to know that we are doing all we can to help protect service people from harm.”

    Dyneema® ballistic tape provides an innovative materials solution to the conflicting demands of mobility and personnel protection at an affordable cost. Weight reduction helps vehicles to remain agile and keep operational and maintenance costs low. The tape as a spall liner delivers a winning combination of high-end properties, including proven ballistic performance against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosively formed penetrators (EFPs). Thanks to the PE material properties, The Dyneema® ballistic tape technology is also safe and easy to handle and process, such as cutting, drilling and mounting.

    DSM Dyneema sees tremendous growth potential for BT10 in the defence market because of its ability to meet multiple customer needs while providing exceptional ballistic performance for life protection,

    said Christian Widdershoven, global vice president at DSM Dyneema. “It allows designers and manufacturers to balance the requirements for better ballistic performance with agility under increased vehicle payloads, all at a competitive cost level. We are extremely pleased that FNSS was able to leverage the benefits of Dyneema® BT10 tape to win this important contract.”

    FNSS has an extensive product line consisting of a universal family of tracked and wheeled armored combat vehicles and combat utility vehicles. It already supplies the armed forces of Turkey and allied nations.

    Dyneema® tape materials are woven and laminated sheets made from UHMwPE tape. Part of a growing range of lightweight and ultra-high armor protection material solutions from DSM Dyneema, BT10 has been tested and certified according to international standards.

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    Endumax production

    Endumax® is a thin, ultra-strong tape with a very high modulus and high cut and wear resistance. It is suitable for applications ranging from force transmission, material reinforcement and rope connections to ballistic protection and more.

    Endumax logo
    One of the first applications in which Endumax demonstrated its unique properties was ballistic protection. In part, this was because of Teijin Aramid’s long history and extensive experience in ballistic protection. But it was particularly because of the excellent performance shown by Endumax cross-ply and consolidated plates in dealing with different ballistic threats.

    Endumax is also showing its unique qualities by helping disabled people to move their arms. As a thin and ultra-strong tape, it is used to transmit forces in a dynamic arm support that allows people with severely limited arm function to move their hands.

    Today’s police and defense forces need to carry more equipment into daily service. This should not mean, however, that they carry more weight. Instead, both body armor and vehicle armor need to be lightweight, highly effective and flexible. Endumax® fits exactly these needs. It is the material of choice for modern protection equipment. When combined with light and flexible anti-ballistic protection products made from Twaron®, Endumax lightweight plates enable ballistic protection gear to meet the highest demands in terms of protection, flexibility and low weight.

    High ballistic protection
    Protective uni-directionals (UDs) and composites, like insert plates, protective panels and helmets made from Endumax, have a very high degree of braking energy, resulting in a particularly high stopping power for bullets and fragments.

    Endumax plates have been tested against a number of threats. Certified solutions show the high potential of Endumax for different threat levels:

    NIJ 0101.04 level III: 15.5kg/m² Endumax® insert plate in conjunction with a Twaron® soft pack
    NIJ 0101.04 level IV: 35kg/m² insert plate made from Endumax® in conjunction with an aluminum-oxide ceramic plate and a Twaron® soft pack
    NIJ 0108.01 level III: 17kg/m² Endumax® hard armor plate
    TR 03/97: Bullet-proof shield SK II: 15.4kg/m² Endumax® hard armor plate

    Easy handling and processing
    Endumax is produced in wide, thin tapes. Therefore, you only need 25% of the quantity of matrix material conventionally used to produce a UD or composite (compared with conventional thin multifilament yarns). This yields a significant advantage in terms of weight – but also in terms of the amount of chemicals needed. Due to the material’s high stiffness and shape at low matrix content, the pressure needed to produce a shaped anti-ballistic plate is approximately 60bar – significantly lower than for other UHMWPE materials, which may require up to 200bar pressure.



    High stiffness and dimensional stability
    Extensive testing has shown that pressed shaped plates made from Endumax retain their original form and protection performance levels even if they have been exposed to temperatures and/or moisture levels above the normal working range (e.g., during storage).


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    Royal DSM NV (Heerlen, The Netherlands) announced on Feb. 17 that it has signed an agreement to acquire the majority shareholding of Shandong ICD High Performance Fibre Co Ltd., based in Laiwu, Shandong province, China. Closing of this transaction is expected in 2011. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    The acquisition of the majority share in ICD will bring complementary manufacturing and technology assets to DSM, in addition to strengthening the company’s presence in this key market. The agreement with ICD, a manufacturer of UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) fiber and a potentially strong player in the Chinese market for high-performance fibers, concludes an extensive selection process by DSM to find the right company in the Chinese market.

    This strategic step underlines DSM’s commitment to its sales growth and strategic objectives in China and reflects its policy of acquiring businesses with strong potential and a proven track record of success.

    Gerard de Reuver, president of DSM Dyneema, added: “China is an important market in terms of both UHMWPE fiber production and consumption and this announced acquisition further develops our position and will help us grow and succeed in this market. This move strengthens our position to better serve our Chinese customers and builds on the long standing success of DSMís investments in China.”

    Ren Yi, general manager of ICD, commented: “This is an exciting development for everyone at ICD, and I believe it will help to secure our future growth and success in the Chinese UHMWPE fiber market. We expect to benefit significantly from DSMís global know-how, operating standards and technical expertise which will help us enhance our ability to serve our customers and develop new markets and application opportunities in China.”

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    DSM Dyneema is expanding its already strong portfolio of products based on Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber, with the first in a new series of vest grades of unidirectional (UD) material. Dyneema SB51, which the company believes will create a step-change in the protection achievable with Soft Ballistic (SB) armor, has been developed for use in ballistic vests that combine minimum weight with high protection performance against handgun ammunition, fragments and knives.

    Dyneema SB51 builds on the success that DSM Dyneema has already achieved in this market with its Dyneema SB21 and SB31 UD grades, all three of which are made with the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) Dyneema fiber.

    Numerous ballistic tests show that Dyneema SB 51 takes performance to the next level, substantially outperforming aramids and demonstrating improvements of 10 to 20% compared with Dyneema SB21 for specific bullet and test specifications.

    Intended for use by personnel in the military and law enforcement, Dyneema SB51 has been developed in close cooperation with body armor manufacturers. It is the first material to be designed specifically to provide protection against the prevalent threats in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific, in particular the 7.62x25mm Tokarev bullet, widely used in former Soviet states and neighboring countries as well as the Chinese P54 pistol ammunition.

    Dyneema SB51 can also be combined with trauma liners and stab resistance solutions in vests designed to meet various international standards, including NIJ 0101.04 and NIJ 0101.06. Furthermore, it can be used both in tactical and concealed vest designs. Its use enables vests to be designed with low Back Face Signature while remaining thin, light and comfortable. Trauma liner systems can be made more flexible than before while still keeping vests within specification.

    Further advantages of Dyneema SB51 include its ease of handling, which leads to time and cost reductions for body armor manufacturers in material lay-up and cutting, as well as its high durability and resistance to moisture, UV rays and chemicals. Additionally, vests can be easily upgraded to protect against heavier rifle fire using class-leading inserts made with Dyneema.

    The first customer for the new UD material is Zhong Tian Feng (ZTF) in Beijing, a development partner with DSM Dyneema in China. “With Dyneema SB51, we are able to produce the lightest-yet protective armor capable of meeting Chinese specification GA-141 2001,” says Yang Zhi Dong, General Manager at ZTF. He adds: “Working together with DSM Dyneema, we can sustain a high pace of new product development and respond quickly to trends in the market.”

    “We have numerous active partnerships on innovation and marketing with leading protection equipment manufacturers and we are very happy to see ZTF pioneering the use of Dyneema SB51,” says Sasja Spiertz, Business Segment Manager, Personal Protection, at DSM Dyneema. “We expect them to be joined by several other customers in the very near future. We also expect important new business in Central and Eastern Europe, especially given the attention we have given to protection from bullet types that are a special hazard to law enforcement agents in that region.”

    Spiertz concludes: “DSM Dyneema has a constant and very active development program devoted to innovation in personal protection. Dyneema SB51 is just the first of a new series of grades that will expand our portfolio in the coming months and years. We will continue to optimize our value proposition.”

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    DSM logo

    Royal DSM N.V. today announces the acquisition of Pamako AG in Zurich (Switzerland) from FMS Enterprises Migun Ltd. The acquisition includes Pamako’s technology for the production of UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) based products. DSM will further develop and improve this technology, and incorporate it in its existing business for Dyneema® fiber and Dyneema® UD (UniDirectional bullet resistant sheet).

    Investing in innovative future growth
    “This acquisition is fully in line with DSM’s Vision 2010 strategic aim of investing in innovative technologies, and supports the growth ambitions of Dyneema. This technology is complementary to our existing technology and will enable us to anticipate future market needs” , said Christophe Dardel, President of DSM Dyneema.

    DSM Dyneema
    DSM Dynema is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Dyneema® is an ultra strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on weight for weight basis. Dyneema® floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, UV light and chemicals. The applications are therefore more or less unlimited. Dyneema® is an important component in ropes, cables and nets in the fishing, shipping and offshore industries. Dyneema® is also used in safety gloves for the metalworking industry and in fine yarns for applications in sporting goods and the medical sector. In addition, Dyneema® is also used in bullet resistant armor and clothing for police and military personnel.

    Dyneema® is produced in Heerlen (The Netherlands) and in Greenville, North Carolina (U.S.A.). DSM Dyneema is also a partner in a high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) manufacturing joint venture in Japan.

    DSM expands Dyneema® Production in Greenville, USA

    The largest manufacturer of high performance polyethylene products in the world to invest several tens of millions of USD in expansion of fiber lines.

    DSM Dyneema, the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema a superstrong polyethylene fiber, will again invest in new production capacity for Dyneema fiber. The new unit will be built at Royal DSM’s N.V. facility in Greenville, North Carolina (USA).

    The investment will amount to several tens of millions of USD, and will bring the total number of fiber lines for the company to ten. The expansion of Dyneema fiber capacity is a response to the continued strong demand in all its application areas. The new unit is expected to come on stream early 2008. Construction is planned to start by the end of this year.

    Dyneema, the world’s strongest fiber, is a super-strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight and is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers such as Kevlar.

    Investing in Dyneema contributes to our strategy Vision 2010 – Building on Strengths,

    says Nico Gerardu, member of DSM’s Managing Board. “Despite the already aggressive growth of the business, demand for Dyneema products has been larger than capacity to supply for several years in a row. Dyneema is and remains a clear example of our ambitions in the area of market-driven growth and innovation.”

    “This next expansion will help us to better serve our faithful customers,” adds Christophe Dardel, President of DSM Dyneema. “DSM will continue to further expand its global capacity for Dyneema to maintain its global market leadership position. To our customers this will provide another example of our commitment to be the world’s most reliable quality supplier of HPPE products.”

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