DSM Dyneema today announced that Protech Armored Products, a BAE Systems Products Group company, is marketing protective helmets made with ultra-strong Dyneema HB26 unidirectional (UD) composite in the United States. The Denver Police Department in Colorado is the first U.S. organization to adopt the new Protech Delta LT helmets. This model meets National Institute of Justice (NIJ) IIIA specifications and is 15 percent lighter in weight than comparable 100-percent aramid helmets.
The Denver Police Department's selection of Protech helmets reflects the growing demand for Dyneema UD in life protection materials. Additional capacity in both yarn and UD (unidirectional) material used in personal and vehicle protection has been brought on stream at its Greenville, N.C., facility. DSM Dyneema is on target to double global capacity for UD in 2009, as part of a $450 million investment announced earlier.
Dyneema HB26 composite is based on Dyneema, the world's strongest fiber, made from ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber. Dyneema HB26 provides protection against handgun fragments and rifle threats at extremely low weights in both personal and vehicle hard ballistic armor applications
This is the first commercial use of Dyneema HB26 composite in a ballistic helmet in the U.S. Dyneema UD allowed BAE Protech Armored Products to create a law enforcement helmet meeting NIJ specifications and achieving a 15 percent weight reduction for greater comfort and mobility. Although these helmets are significantly lighter, they show a reduced back-face signature when compared to previous 100-percent aramid models.
Dyneema UD is made of several layers of Dyneema fibers, with the direction of fibers in each layer placed perpendicular to those in the adjacent layers. This unidirectional configuration allows the energy transferred from the impact of a bullet, or other threats, to be distributed along the fibers much more rapidly and efficiently than in conventional woven fabrics. The composite provides excellent mechanical rigidity, toughness, resistance to temperature extremes and moisture.
"DSM Dyneema continues to make significant investments in the development of exceptionally strong, lightweight materials for a new generation of ballistic threats," said Ken Dooley, senior. vice president for DSM Dyneema Life Protection Americas. "We are focused on developing partnerships with customers such as BAE Systems to jointly design protective gear that can better serve law enforcement, the military, and other sectors. We believe the new Protech Delta LT helmets made with Dyneema HB26 will help the Denver Police to more effectively and safely serve the Denver community."
Further information on DSM Dyneema is available at www.dyneema.com and www.dyneemamatters.com.