DuPont Protection Technologies (Wilmington, Del., USA) on Feb. 22 announced the winners of the DuPont Kevlar Innovation Awards, which showcase ideas, methods, technologies, applications, products and services using DuPont Kevlar in a new way. This year’s U.S. awards were given in three categories: innovation, protection and collaboration to QinetiQ North America, TYR Tactical and UNEQUAL Technologies, respectively.
“We’re excited to announce the winners of these awards that recognize not only incredible ingenuity in uses for DuPont Kevlar, but our partners’ commitment to industry collaboration to help make the world a better, safer place,” said William F. Weber, vice president ─ DuPont Protection Technologies, North America. “DuPont Kevlar is most commonly known for ballistic protection, but its light-weight strength is used for a myriad of other purposes; these award winners showcase some of the best of the wide range of innovative uses of DuPont Kevlar in the industry.”
QinetiQ North America’s rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) protection solution,
Q-NetT, is the winner in the innovation category. Q-NetT provides superior RPG defeat capabilities, is adaptable to a variety of platforms, and is low-cost and ultra-lightweight. QinetiQ worked in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop the Q-Net system, which is based on nets rather than traditional armor. The system leverages Kevlar in the netting in combination with metal points at net junctions to create the configuration. Kevlar was chosen for the netting for its strength, weight and low-stretch characteristics. The resulting system offers an innovative solution to vehicle light-weighting and performance challenges, as reducing weight decreases the overall wear and tear of vehicle operating systems and fuel consumption.
TYR Tactical is honored with the protection award for its PV Nylon, a hybrid laminate that is significantly stronger and lighter-weight than standard nylon. TYR Tactical’s PV Nylon demonstrates how scientific innovation can yield hybrid materials that address market challenges. By incorporating Kevlar to provide increased strength and ballistic resistance at a lighter-weight, TYR Tactical decreased the amount of nylon needed in a protection system, in turn reducing the weight of protection systems overall and increasing the life cycle of each product. This provides the market with a much needed solution for longer-wearing, more resistant and lighter-weight armor.
The collaboration award goes to UNEQUAL Technologies for its EXO pads, which offer body protection to soldiers and athletes. UNEQUAL worked with DuPont to incorporate Kevlar into its layered pad systems, yielding the first multi-threat, all-fabric solution that reduced fabric thickness, weight and cost. Collaboration with the sports industry allowed UNEQUAL to create padding that protects against blunt force trauma significantly better than traditional foam pads. UNEQUAL relied on Villanova University, Drexel University, Southern Impact Research Center and Safariland/BAE Systems, as well as other industry and academic partners to conduct extensive testing of its EXO Skeleton technology. EXO pads are now used by multiple NFL and NHL teams to help protect players. The different systems are light weight, thin and flexible to increase comfort without sacrificing protection on the sports field or battlefield.
Each award winner received $10,000 to donate to a charitable organization that benefits education, science, technology and/or government service. QinetiQ donated its award to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members as they recover and transition back to civilian life. TYR Tactical donated its award to Fisher House Foundation, which provides free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers. UNEQUAL donated its award to the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of American law enforcement through exhibits, collections, research and education and is expected to open in 2014.