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DuPont to invest US$500 million to boost Kevlar production

DuPont has announced plans to invest US$500 million to increase production of Kevlar, best known for its use in mil...


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September 24, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

DuPont has announced plans to invest US$500 million to increase production of Kevlar, best known for its use in military body armour.

The expansion, to be completed by 2010, will increase Kevlar capacity by more than 25 per cent, and represents the largest Kevlar expansion since the fibre was introduced in 1965, according to the company.

DuPont said the multiphase expansion would begin later this year with polymer production at its Richmond, Va. plant.

Details about additional expansion phases will be announced later, officials with DuPont said. “Global demand for DuPont Kevlar has soared with the growing need for safety and security worldwide,” said Thomas Powell, vice president and general manager for DuPont Advanced Fibre Systems.

Powell said high energy prices have also increased demand for lightweight strength fibres in the aerospace, oil and gas, and automotive industries.

“This is a significant investment for DuPont and underscores our commitment to sustainability and providing products that improve the safety and protection of people and critical processes around the world,” said Mark Vergnano, group vice president for DuPont’s safety and protection unit.

From 2000 to 2006, DuPont completed four Kevlar fibre expansion projects in Richmond and in Maydown, Northern Ireland, incorporating a new fibre technology that it developed and patented.