5 September 2010

ballistic material or humble milk carton?

Polyethylene (PE) is an exceptional material. Not only is it used to make a wide range of everyday products, like milk cartons and plastic bags, it is used as a ballistic material by the military for its exceptional resistance to punching and tearing.

DSM developed Dyneema in 1970s. It is classified as an ultra high density PE (UHDPE): as a drawn fibre it is up to 40% stronger than DuPont Kevlar; as a sheet material it is 15 times stronger than steel. Laminated sheets 25 mm thick provide ballistic protection for armoured vehicles. 

Image from MPFDP