Royal DSM N.V. (Heerlen, The Netherlands) announced that it will invest an unspecified amount to expand its Dyneema UD (unidirectional bullet-resistant sheeting) production capacity by 25 percent at its manufacturing facility located in Greenville, N.C. The company reports that the driver behind the increase is strengthening demand for the product in the U.S. market for personal and vehicle security products designed to provide protection against terrorism. The new capacity is expected to come on line in mid-2008. The expansion follows the recent announcement that DSM will invest in a new technical service center at its Stanley, N.C., facility.
Dyneema UD is based on the company’s low-density Dyneema high-performance polyethylene (HPPE) fiber that is reportedly up to 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40 percent stronger than aramid fiber, by weight. Dyneema is produced in Heerlen and in Greenville. The company also is a partner in a high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) manufacturing joint venture in Japan.