Dyneema®, a division of Avient Corporation renowned for its innovative protective material solutions, has just introduced a groundbreaking development that promises to enhance the safety and manoeuvrability of law enforcement officers and military personnel. This latest innovation involves a next-generation unidirectional (UD) material built on Dyneema’s third-generation fiber. The result? A significant breakthrough that enables a potential weight reduction of up to 20% in ballistic armor.
By applying molecular engineering techniques, Dyneema® has taken its third-generation fiber to a whole new level at the molecular level. This remarkable evolution has produced a higher-tenacity fiber that significantly enhances ballistic stopping power, especially when used in the new UD material known as Dyneema® SB301, designed for protective armor applications. This seismic shift in performance empowers body armor manufacturers to design soft armor vests that are 10–20% lighter than previous solutions such as Dyneema® SB115, Dyneema® SB117 and Dyneema® SB125.
Marcelo van de Kamp, the global business director for personal protection at Avient, stressed the newfound importance of weight in today’s scenarios. He stated, “In every situation, weight is now considered to be a top priority after ballistic stopping power. Survivability depends on weight savings when speed and agility are crucial. While we’ve long been recognized as the ‘world’s strongest fiber™,’ our commitment to innovation and protection remains unyielding. Dyneema® SB301 exemplifies our dedication.”
Dyneema® SB301 represents a significant performance leap, surpassing even Dyneema® Force Multiplier Technology, which itself marked a game-changing advancement in ballistic protection.
Van de Kamp emphasized, “We understand the critical role weight plays in mission success for law enforcement and military personnel. We take pride in offering a next-generation UD material that enables body armor manufacturers to design soft armor vests that are up to 20% lighter than previous solutions while maintaining the highest levels of ballistic protection.”
In addition to its incredible strength, Dyneema® SB301 has another advantage: it is made from bio-based Dyneema® fiber, resulting in a carbon footprint up to 90% lower than generic high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fiber.
Van de Kamp concluded, “Security isn’t just about protection from immediate threats; it’s also about preserving the planet for future generations. With Dyneema®, end-users no longer need to choose between sustainability and protection. This is a pivotal difference, especially as governmental agencies seek stricter environmental regulations related to CO2 emissions in the personal protection market.”
Dyneema® SB301 is now available for use in law enforcement vests for the US market, produced in compliance with the Berry Amendment at the Greenville, North Carolina facility, with plans to expand to additional markets.
Dyneema® continues to lead the way in ballistic protection. Hard ballistic product grades based on the new third-generation fiber, suitable for military vests, insert panels, ballistic helmets, and vehicle armor, are set to launch in early 2024, further solidifying Dyneema®’s position as a pioneer in the field.