DuPont has announced production expansion plans for its high performance Kevlar para-aramid brand fiber. DuPont plans to invest over $500 million in a multi-phase production expansion starting with a Kevlar polymer expansion in Richmond, Va., later this year.

For DuPont, this expansion would increase Kevlar capacity by more than 25 percent when complete in 2010 and represents the largest Kevlar expansion since the product was introduced in 1965. Details about additional expansion phases will be announced at a later date.

"Global demand for DuPont Kevlar has soared with the growing need for safety and security worldwide," Thomas G. Powell, vice president and general manager - DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems, said.

As the first man-made fiber to deliver high strength combined with light weight, Kevlar is recognized as a category creator and leading brand in many high performance and life saving applications. This balance of properties makes Kevlar the material of choice for a broad range of uses. Best known for its proven performance in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, Kevlar has helped to save the lives of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel around the world. The increasing need for protection against new and emerging threats continues to spur demand for Kevlar in vehicle armoring, firefighter turnout gear, and blast and storm-resistant construction applications.

For over 40 years, DuPont Kevlar has been recognized worldwide for its proven performance in a wide variety of safety and high performance applications, including automotive brakes and tires; body armor and protective apparel; aerospace and airplane components; and building materials.

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