Body Armor Companies
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DuPont Invests to Protect More People, Processes and the Environment
Plans to Acquire BAE Systems Tensylon High Performance Materials; Purchased a Minority Equity Interest in Nanocomp Technologies
WILMINGTON, Del. ─ To expand its portfolio of high-performance protection materials and to complement existing and new DuPont™ Kevlar® technologies, DuPont has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of BAE Systems Tensylon High Performance Materials, Inc., and has purchased a minority share in Nanocomp Technologies, Inc. DuPont has not disclosed details of the investments.
Tensylon, a wholly owned subsidiary of BAE Systems, Inc., based in Monroe, N.C., produces ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) tapes that provide strong and lightweight armor solutions for the military and other applications. Nanocomp, a leading developer and producer of carbon nanotube (CNT) yarns and sheets based in Concord, N.H., manufactures CNT products for a variety of end uses, ranging from electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and data transmission cables to armor and honeycomb core structures. The new technology platforms alone, and in combination with existing and new DuPont™ Kevlar® technologies will enhance DuPont’s efforts to develop new ballistic, panel and core structure solutions for military, law enforcement and industrial applications, including ropes and cables for oil and gas and lightweight honeycomb type structures for aerospace. DuPont estimates the total industry opportunity at more than $1 billion.
“This is the next phase in our plan to protect more people, critical processes and the environment from more hazards around the world,” said Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies. “These investments underscore our commitment to provide our customers with new, innovative materials to help them address their toughest problems. This expansion of our portfolio of armor and structure solutions and technology platforms will leverage and build on our recently completed investment in DuPont™ Kevlar® capacity and capability at our new site near Charleston, S.C.”
With the acquisition of Tensylon, DuPont intends to launch new materials for armor that improve performance, durability and strength in helmets, body and vehicle armor. Additionally, this technology platform will enable DuPont to provide new materials for other industrial uses such as ropes and cables that offer strong and durable support for off-shore oil and gas platforms.
DuPont and Nanocomp are bringing Nanocomp’s unique and proprietary CNT process together with DuPont’s extensive experience in fiber and sheet fabrication, handling and applications development to work on creating products for the armor and core structure applications. DuPont’s goal is to offer products with superior lightweight strength, combined with new value-adding properties, such as electrical conductivity.
Beyond these technology platforms and with greater availability of higher performance fibers, DuPont is working on a range of new opportunities through collaborations with customers, manufacturers, governments and others in new and existing markets. Best known as the leading brand in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor, DuPont™ Kevlar® has helped save the lives of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel around the world.
About Nanocomp Technologies
Nanocomp Technologies is delivering a new generation of advanced materials that provide revolutionary performance while saving energy. The Company is the only commercial producer of carbon nanotube-based lightweight sheets, tapes, wires, and yarns. Nanocomp’s products offer superior mechanical, thermal and electrical properties for aerospace and defense, aviation, automotive, energy and consumer applications. The U.S. Department of Defense has designated the Company’s materials as “critical for national defense.” Nanocomp recently opened a new 100,000 square foot advanced manufacturing facility in Merrimack NH, increasing its production capacity to meet the needs of defense and commercial customers. For additional information, please visit www.nanocomptech.com.
DuPont has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.