DSM increases Dyneema capacity

Capacity will be expanded in the US and Europe for the ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)-based fiber.

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Royal DSM announced on May 14 an increase in its production capacity of Dyneema ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber, unidirectional (UD) reinforcements and fabric. Strong demand for Dyneema UD and Dyneema fiber is prompting this increase.

The company is installing additional new UD technology at its plant in Heerlen, the Netherlands, and its plant in Greenville, NC, US, and will also make improvements to existing production lines to expand Dyneema UD and Dyneema fiber capacity. The global production capacity of Dyneema UD will be increased by more than 20%. The additional Dyneema UD and Dyneema fiber capacity will become available in the course of 2018 and is due be fully on stream by Q1 2019.

In addition to expanding capacity, DSM Dyneema will also further improve its carbon footprint, delivering on its brand promise Dyneema, the Greenest Strength. DSM says applications made with Dyneema already deliver the lowest carbon footprint for the performance specified from cradle to grave compared to other materials. As an example, DSM’s plant in Greenville already uses 100% renewable electricity.

Dyneema UD is available as a hard or soft anti-ballistic material. “Dyneema products are finding use in a broad and ever-increasing range of markets and applications in which lightweight strength is of the essence, for instance best-in-class protective ballistic vests, inserts and helmets,” notes DSM Dyneema president Wilfrid Gambade. “DSM Dyneema is the world’s largest UHMWPE fiber and UD manufacturer with a backward integration into UHMWPE polymer production. These investments will enable us to better accommodate growing customer demand and needs while further extending our global leadership position.”