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DuPont Launches Innovative High-Performance Material With Kevlar® for Rubber-based Applications


WILMINGTON, Del. and KINGSTON, Ontario, July 18, 2006 - DuPont today announced that it will begin production of an innovative high-performance material with DuPont™ Kevlar® that will offer consumers and industry performance breakthroughs in a range of rubber-based products. Production will take place at the company’s research and development center in Kingston.

The new material is a composite of Kevlar® pulp and an elastomer. The strength of DuPont™ Kevlar® high-performance fiber – most frequently known for helping to save lives in bullet-resistant protective apparel – also provides significant performance improvements in this new form in products such as automotive, motorcycle and bicycle tires, hoses and belts, seals and gaskets, rubber-covered rolls, pump liners, diaphragms and molded goods. More specifically, it helps improve properties such as modulus and wear resistance without having a negative impact on other critical rubber properties.

“This new composite relies on the same molecular science found in DuPont™ Kevlar® high-performance material that is recognized around the world for its unique strength, durability and light weight,” said Dr. Roger Siemionko, vice president of technology – DuPont Safety and Protection. “The composite provides both the strength and flexibility required for rigorous applications. For the future, we’re seeking to build on this success and go beyond manufacturing to also perform significant development work that will expand this process to other applications.”

Prior research into the use of the engineered elastomer with Kevlar® in automotive tires, for example, showed significant improvements in ride and handling, reduced rolling resistance and heat generation, and increased durability. Increased wear resistance is of special environmental interest, since it can help to extend the life of the tire. Similar results were achieved in bicycle and motorcycle tires, which also demonstrated improved puncture resistance.

DuPont™ Kevlar®, an organic fiber in the aramid family, uniquely combines high strength with light weight, and comfort with protection. Kevlar® is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, providing reliable performance and solid strength. The rigid molecular structure of KevlarŇ also provides additional properties such as thermal stability and high resistance to many threats and dangers, including protecting against thermal hazards up to 800oF. Groundbreaking research by DuPont scientist Stephanie Kwolek in the field of liquid crystalline polymer solutions in the fall of 1965 formed the basis for the commercial preparation of the Kevlar® aramid fiber. Kwolek has earned broad global accolades for her work – including receiving the 1996 National Medal of Technology.

Kevlar® is perhaps best known for its use in bullet- and knife-resistant body armor. In law enforcement applications alone, more than 3,000 officers have survived potentially fatal or disabling injuries because they were wearing personal body armor. In addition, every U.S. combat soldier has worn a helmet of DuPontÔ Kevlar® since the Gulf War in 1991. The balance of unusual properties enables the broad range of Kevlar® applications today from ballistic vests to cut-resistant gloves to blast and flame barriers.

DuPont Canada’s Kingston Centre is a world leader in the combined development of polymer products and processes that supports DuPont businesses around the world. Almost 200 scientists, engineers, technologists, technicians, tradespeople and administrative and support staff are based at the Centre.

DuPont Canada is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and has 1,100 employees located at offices and facilities across the country.

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.


The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, and Kevlar® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.


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