today announced production expansion plans for its high performance Kevlar para-aramid brand fibre.
DuPont plans to invest over $500m in a multi-phase production expansion starting with a Kevlar polymer expansion in Richmond, Virginia, later this year.
According to 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.
‘Global demand for DuPont Kevlar has soared with the growing need for safety and security worldwide,’ said Thomas G. Powell, vice president and general manager – DuPont Advanced Fibre Systems. ‘In addition, high energy prices have increased demand for the lightweight strength of Kevlar in the aerospace, oil and gas and automotive industries.’
Kevlar is best known for its performance in ballistic and stab-resistant body armour but in the oil and gas and aerospace industries the lightweight strength, dimensional stability and chemical resistance of the material improves the reliability of umbilicals and risers used in offshore energy production platforms. These same properties also allow aerospace engineers and designers to build lighter aircraft with improved fuel efficiency.