New UD composite provides highest protection at lightest weight for armor applications

DSM Dyneema, the manufacturer of Dyneema® ultra strong polyethylene fiber have come up with Dyneema® HB80, a unidirectional (UD) composite that meets the joint US Army and Marine challenge to increase the fragmentation performance by at least 35% of advanced combat helmets. According to the makers, Dyneema® HB80 also has the potential to provide law enforcement SWAT units with helmets offering existing protection at half the current weight. It is the latest product in an expanding series of materials being developed by DSM Dyneema to substantially lighten the load for soldiers and law enforcement. The company claims Dyneema® HB80 is the the highest ballistic performance UD material on the market which is available for shipment to armor manufacturers. Dyneema® HB80 is being manufactured at the company's North Carolina plant, which is undergoing substantial expansion. Dyneema® HB80 meets the requirements for Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH), a joint program of the US Army and Marines. In testing, helmets made with Dyneema® HB80 have demonstrated a minimum of 35% increase in fragmentation performance when compared to the helmets currently used by the US armed forces. The company is on target to significantly increase its global capacity for UD materials for personal protection (helmets, inserts and vests) and vehicle protection as part of a previously announced up to US$450 mln expansion in UD and fiber materials, the majority of which is occurring at its Greenville, N.C., facility.
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