The composites industry is pushing for more growth through programs like the recently announced Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. What is DuPont doing to contribute to the composite and advanced materials industry’s growth, and what role does Kevlar play?
DuPont Protection Technologies resides within the Advanced Materials portfolio of DuPont businesses. Our mission and continuing heritage is to be the global innovation leader for scientifically engineered products and systems that protect people, critical processes and the environment. Through collaboration with customers, governments, regulators and other DuPont businesses we continue to identify and capture new opportunities for growth and innovation. DuPont Kevlar continues to be an important contributor to our advanced materials platform.
What is DuPont’s greatest pride in the growth and legacy of Kevlar over the past 50 years?
DuPont Kevlar helps enable one to challenge those boundaries that limit the use of other materials. Kevlar can handle extreme conditions such as heat and flame, zero gravity and ballistics, which is why it has helped enable incredible feats from deep space exploration to world record-breaking athleticism. Stephanie Kwolek, the DuPont scientist who made the discoveries that led to DuPont Kevlar 50 years ago, pushed the boundaries of what others thought possible. On day she died last June at the age of 90, DuPont was announcing the sale of the one millionth bullet resistant vest made with Kevlar® XP™ – just the latest innovation in ballistic technology with DuPont Kevlar. She has left a legacy of tens of thousands of lives impacted by her discovery.
What do you hope to see for the future of Kevlar?
We have exciting plans for growth and innovation. Much of our innovation is centered on providing lighter-weight, higher-strength solutions, such as high-performance sporting equipment for Armada Skis and adidas, mechanical industrial personal protective equipment for MCR Safety and Youngstown Glove, and consumer products such as Motorola cell phones and Goodyear tires. There is no limit to where this material can go next. We are working with our customers and licensees continually to help enable them to design better products with our materials, and we continue to advance our own pipeline of innovation.