"Just One Tiny Spark…" by
Countermeasure Magazine, feb 2006
from the same issue
DID YOU KNOW?
Much of the PPE issued to Soldiers today is the result of one Pennsylvania woman’s work. Kevlar was patented in 1966 by Stephanie Kwolek, a researcher with the DuPont Company’s Pioneering Research Laboratory in Wilmington, DE. Kwolek developed aramids, the family of polymers from which Kevlar is made, by changing the structure of nylon. Future DuPont researchers built upon Kwolek’s findings and developed Nomex, also an aramid. Kevlar originally was developed as a substitute for steel in radial tires, but its ballistic resistance capabilities—it’s five times stronger than steel—soon were exploited in items such as police bulletproof vests. Besides helmets, Kevlar also is used as a protective insert in the individual body armor issued to Soldiers deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan. Additionally, Kevlar can be found in the aircraft flying Soldiers to and from their assignments, in the brake linings and tires of tactical vehicles, and in the parachutes used by Airborne troops. Nomex, known for its fire-resistant properties, is used in gloves, aviator flight suits, and combat vehicle crewman uniforms. Soldiers are much safer today because of Kwolek’s research, so do your part and wear your PPE!