TYR Tactical

DuPont Protection Technologies Unveils Kevlar XP for Hard Armor

When DuPont contacted us and told use that they were set to unveil a new armor technology that could result in a 20% reduction of weight while retaining the same level of protection we practically did cheetah flips. Based on work on the Enhanced Combat Helmet program, the new Kevlar® XP™ for Hard Armor combines DuPont’s latest Kevlar® KM2 Plus fiber technology and a new advanced thermoplastic resin to create a protection system providing 20 percent higher performance. The most obvious application was helmets.

The story behind the new product is fascinating. Two years of focused research on 100% aramid reduced weight helmets at DuPont’s Armor Technology Center in Wilmington, Delaware resulted in development of XPH170. The goal was weight reduction rather than performance. Combining Kevlar® into thermo plastic technology, DuPont worked to meet current ACH requirements, and the result is a helmet with a 20% reduction in weight forming what is essentially a Lightweight ACH. To put matters into further perspective, the ACH is 8% lighter than its predecessor, the PASGT. Even better, since the new material requires fewer plies, the helmet is thinner and there is more stand off room between helmet and head lowering the risk of blunt force trauma. Additionally, the new material is stronger so there is less back face deformation.

Once the engineers at DuPont realized what they were on to, it took about nine months to workable prototypes. They have continued collaborating with several helmet producers to integrate the technology into their lines. Since it is based on work to develop the ECH, most manufacturers already invested in the infrastructure.

“Our goal is to provide the U.S. military with products that have a meaningful impact on how soldiers accomplish their mission,” said William F. Weber, vice president – DuPont Protection Technologies, North America. “The launch of Kevlar® XP™ for Hard Armor demonstrates our proactive approach to innovation in order to shape what will become the next generation of required materials for the military.”

Not only is it a perfect fit for Tactical helmets, but it can also be used for armor plates and Police helmets. DuPont continues to develop new products under the Kevlar® XP™ platform to provide lower weight solutions and better protection for warfighters.

Kevlar® XP™ for Hard Armor will be produced using materials from the new DuPont™ Kevlar® facility being built near Charleston, S.C. Dupont has made a major investment of $500 million to expand Kevlar® production capacity. The facility is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2012. It also will produce other Kevlar® fiber technologies specifically for military applications, law enforcement and industrial applications, and will increase worldwide production of Kevlar®, including Kevlar® XP™ for Hard Armor, by 25 percent.

Be sure to visit DuPont at AUSA and check out this new technology.



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