WL Gore & Assoc

Kevlar Inventor Stephanie L Kwolek Passes Away

We all have much to owe Stephanie L Kwolek, who invented the basic Kevlar compound while working for DuPont in 1964. Amazingly, she was attempting to develop a material to replace steel radial belts in tires when a polymer she was working didn’t quite come out right. On a hunch, she had it spun into fiber that turned out to be five times as strong as steel as well fire resistant. Further development resulted in the Kevlar family of aramids we know today, although it took a decade for the material to be introduced into soft body armor. Eventually, Ms Kwolek was honored with a National Medal of Technology in 1996 for her work that has resulted in countless lives saved.


DuPont continues to develop the material discovered by Ms Kwolek. Just last week, they announced that the millionth vest made from Kevlar XP had been manufactured and they recently launched DuPont Kevlar AS450X, specifically engineered for greater comfort to the body armour wearer while protecting against multiple threats including bullets, knives, spikes, bullets and blunt objects as well as DuPont Kevlar XP S104, a water repellent fabric that offers enhanced bullet stopping power and reduced back face deformation, even in hot and humid climates and wet conditions.

Born on July 31, 1923, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Stephanie L Kwolek passed away in Wilmington, Delaware, on 18 June, 2014 at the age of 90.

Thank you for your hard work. Rest In Peace.

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8 Responses to “Kevlar Inventor Stephanie L Kwolek Passes Away”

  1. MK262 Mod1 says:

    Thank you for sharing this. This is just another example of why I am so hooked on this website. Without it, I would never have known about Ms Kwolek or her amazing discovery.

  2. Spartan says:

    There is a small exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science about Kevlar, that is where I first learned of Ms. Kwolek several years ago. Rest in peace, every warrior from the past few decades owes you a debt of gratitude.

  3. RockStarArtist says:

    This. Showed it to my niece, my wife, my sisters, and a couple of female workers. Scientist women, they are bad-ass, and amazing role models. Ill keep this name in my pocket to bring up with my daughter when she is older and able to understand.

  4. bulldog76 says:

    thank you Ms. Kwolek you have saved many lives and made this world a better place

  5. Reverend says:

    RIP Kwolek. Your creation will keep you in the minds of those who wear it.

  6. Haji says:

    I wonder if she grasped the scope of uses for what she created. She was truly a visionary and I’m glad to hear she got to lead a very full life. RIP, Ms. Kwolek.

  7. Desert Lizard says:

    She was born for that invention. Even her hair was shaped like an ACH. :)