Teijin Aramid halts research on new DAPBI-containing aramid copolymers

The DAPBI monomer showed promise enhancing aramid performance in anti-ballistic performance, but Teijin Aramid discovered it poses a severe health threat to people involved in production of the monomer and copolymer.

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Teijin Aramid (Arnhem, the Netherlands) reports that it is stopping its research program to develop and commercialize aramid copolymers containing DAPBI (2-(4-amino phenyl)-5 (6) amino benzimidazole). Teijin Aramid says the developed prototype materials had good anti-ballistic performance, but determined that use of this substance could be dangerous to people involved in the production of the monomer and copolymer.

In recent years Teijin Aramid has been engaged in an R&D program together with several international partners to develop and commercialize aramid copolymers containing DAPBI. The program was aimed at further improvement of the performance of aramid polymers, mainly for anti-ballistic applications. After a thorough investigation, it was found that the DAPBI monomer is mutagenic, severely toxic to the kidneys at very low dosages, toxic to reproduction and possibly carcinogenic.

Teijin Aramid’s current polymer for Twaron contains two monomers called PPD (p-phenylenediamine) and TDC (terephthaloyl dichloride). In copolymer yarn, part of the PPD is replaced by a different building block called DAPBI, to achieve a further reduction in weight of personal body armor at the same threat level.

Teijin Aramid says it gives highest priority to the safety of persons involved in the whole supply chain and it was therefor decided to stop the development and commercialization of these DAPBI-containing copolymer yarns.

Teijin Aramid says it will continue to develop next generations of anti-ballistic products with improved performance like Twaron Ultra Micro, the world’s first ultra-microfilament fiber which was launched in January 2013.