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.