Dyneema fibers, developed
by the Dutch company DSM is a super-strong polyethylene fiber
used for various applications requiring security, strength and
lightweight. In woven textile form, the fiber is used for the
manufacturing of bulletproof armor and in protective clothing
for law enforcement agencies and the military. Dyneema is 15
times stronger than steel and, weight-for-weight, is 40 percent
stronger than competing aramid fibers. With specific weight
lower than water, Dyneema floats on water, and is highly
resistant to abrasion, moisture, UV rays and chemicals.
Dual Protection Vests Made of Steel Reinforced Fibers
New models of body armor are offering protection from gunshots,
shrapnel and knives stabs. These vests are fabricated from a
combination of Dyneema high-performance polyethylene fiber from DSM
and Steelskin steel cord material from Bekaert providing stab
protection against edged weapons. The combined material provides
dual protection vests offering the same class of protection,
compared to competitive materials and technology. In the past,
similar levels of protection required heavier and stiffer outfits
which were uncomfortable to use. According to DSM, the combination
of the two materials adds improved performance - as the steel wire
blunts and damages a blade with each thrust, while the super-strong
fibers further absorb the impact energy to stop the damaged knife
and minimize trauma.
Manufacturers already using the new combined material include C.P.E.
Production, a Finnish manufacturer of combat protective equipment,
offering the enhanced vests to police and private security
companies. Sioen of Ireland supply similar vests to the Irish An
Garda Siochana, police. The armor provided by Sioen is PSDB
certified to protection level HG1A/KR1 and is the lightest system
currently available on the market. The new material was unveiled
November 22, at the Milipol 2005 exhibition in Paris.