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Man Who Invented Kevlar Dies in Delaware

April 24, 2014  | 

DuPont's latest Kevlar fiber is DuPont Kevlar XP S104 (Photo: DuPont)
DuPont's latest Kevlar fiber is DuPont Kevlar XP S104 (Photo: DuPont)

Retired DuPont chemist Tom Bair died last week in Delaware. Countless police officers and soldiers owe their lives to Dr. Bair because he was instrumental in inventing Kevlar, International Business Times reports.

DuPont chemists in the late 1960s and early 1970s were working on developing a fiber that was very strong. But they were having problems transforming certain polymers that had characteristics of high strength and density into a fiber that could be spun (and thus made into a fabric).

Bair discovered, through experimentation, how a certain high-strength/density polymer could be chemically treated (without loss of the polymer’s properties) so it could be transformed into a "spinable" fiber. Bair’s enhanced polymer was chosen by DuPont for further development, and the end result was Kevlar.

One of Bair's last wishes was for any memorial gifts to be directed to Wilmington’s Sunday Breakfast Mission.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Chris @ 4/24/2014 7:30 PM

Thank you Sir for saving countless of my brothers and sisters throughout the decades.

TheRookie @ 4/24/2014 7:33 PM

It saved me more than once. Your patriotic duty is significant to the profession.

Carlos @ 4/24/2014 9:12 PM

May you Rest in Peace, Sir. And thank you for saving all those countless lives!!

Nichole @ 4/25/2014 4:13 AM

I am sorry that this man passed away, but this should be properly quoted. He did not invent Kevlar. Stephanie Kwolek did, and she is currently 90 years old. She was even on a commercial recently for it.

James @ 4/25/2014 6:11 AM

Nichole Stephanie only works in that dept of the lab, it was in fact Tom Bair that invented it, it was his idea, his thought process and unfortunately when you read wiki answers and Wikipedia it is most of the time either lies or made up fabrications of the truth to get a desired political goal. This is no different that the feud for year over who invented the traffic light, some say it was a black man who invented a metal stop sign that was cranked up by a chain, problem is this was over a decade after Detroit had a working actual traffic "light". There are many great things Women do, but the Internet is a poor place for facts more often than not. It's sad that people are allowed to edit pages like wikipedia which has become a laughing stock of researchers who like myself will never quote these sites, or the many that spring off the false information that wikipedia and snopes passes off as true.

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