UHMWPE fiber technology gains traction in life protection market

  • Advantages over traditional materials such as aramid
  • Technology used in wide range of protection applications
  • Multiple industry awards

DSM Dyneema, the manufacturer of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber and leader in life protection materials, announced that its Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology continues to gain traction in the life protection market. An increasing number of armor manufacturers are designing new systems around this technology, which allows them to meet increasingly stringent requirements. Based on the Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology, DSM Dyneema is developing a new armor solution that will be released in November at Milipol.

Advantages over traditional materials such as aramid

Manufactured in Greenville, N.C., Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology combines the latest developments in polymer science, UHMWPE fiber technology and unique uni-directional engineering. Compared to body armor made from traditional materials such as aramid, protective vests engineered with Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology can reduce weight by up to 30 percent while enhancing comfort and agility with fewer layers of material.

Technology used in wide range of protection applications

Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology is used in vests, inserts, helmets and extremity protection, and in hard armor for helicopters, patrol boats and land vehicles. These include:

  • Leading Technology Composites applied its XPS2 system of advanced processing to Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology materials to achieve unprecedented levels of performance at significantly lower areal densities. Initial integrations of these systems on vehicle platforms provided customers with weight savings of 25 to 45 percent compared to legacy systems. The company has also achieved 10 to 20 percent weight-out on personal protection products such as body armor inserts.
  • The New York Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, as well as police departments in Houston, Miami-Dade, San Antonio and others, selected the Alpha Elite body armor system from Point Blank Enterprises, which is based on Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology, to outfit their personnel. The selection criteria included performance, weight, flexibility and comfort. Point Blank has been awarded contracts from more than 40 tactical law enforcement agencies in North America since launching the Alpha Elite ballistic package in January 2014.
  • Point Blank also selected the platform to design an advanced ballistics package incorporated in the Generation II Soldier Plate Carrier System (SPCS). The lightest soft armor system ever to be fielded by the U.S. Army, SPCS maximizes mobility and provides superior protection thanks in large part to Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology.
  • Rheinmetall Ballistic Protection GmbH has developed and certified multiple armor systems with Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology. These include very lightweight protective inserts designed to stop 7.62 x 39mm AK47 (MSC) and 7.62 x 51mm NATO (Ball). These panels are being used by various elite European law enforcement units. Rheinmetall also used the technology to develop several naval armor systems.
  • BSST GmbH, a German manufacturer of armor solutions, has developed lightweight vests with Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology for law enforcement units in several European countries. These vests meet a range of protection levels.
  • Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology has also been used to provide ballistics protection in helicopter armor systems developed by international armor manufacturer TenCate Advanced Armour.

Multiple industry awards

Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology has also won multiple industry awards. For example, last year DSM Dyneema received the WorldSafe Safety Product Innovation Award from the Safe America Foundation for the development of the technology. In November 2014, the company was honored with three ITMA Future Materials awards. DSM Dyneema was recognized for its innovation in textiles, its successful platform launch strategy and its industry leadership.

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