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Kevlar® in Sports Equipment

DuPont Products Support Athletes

“DuPont products are used in almost all summer sports and especially for world-class athletes looking for top performance,” said Brian Foy, product design and development manager - DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems.  “DuPont™ Kevlar®, for instance, is a popular choice for both equipment manufacturers and consumers.  The same properties and performance attributes that have proven so effective in industrial and life-protection applications also appeal to athletes, outdoors enthusiasts and anyone else looking for better performance from their gear and apparel.  The same can be said for all the other DuPont innovations so valuable to our business customers and now to consumers as well.”

The quest for lighter, stronger and safer sporting goods has made Kevlar® a popular choice for both equipment manufacturers and consumers. The same properties and performance attributes that have proven so effective in industrial and life-protection applications also appeal to athletes, outdoors enthusiasts and anyone else looking for better performance in sports products.

The legendary strength and light weight of Kevlar® brand fiber are only the starting point. Its natural toughness allows fabrics and threads to stand up to repeated abuse. Kevlar® helps minimizes vibration transfer and can sustain deformation without breaking. And because its ductility prevents it from shattering or suffering the kind of catastrophic failure so common in carbon composites and fiberglass, it is safer and more reliable in high-impact situations.

Sports that use Kevlar® -

Cycling

Specialized -- a leading bicycle company based in Califorinia -- is manufacturing the lightest weight bike helmet in the world, made with an innermatrix reinforced with DuPont™ Kevlar®. Athletes are using the new Specialized “S-WORKS” helmet because it enables larger, deeper channeled vents for extremely minimal weight, increased ventilation, comfort and effortless security. Look for the “S-WORKS” helmet in upcoming triathlon and mountain biking events.

Motorcycling

Stiffness, impact tolerance and thermal tolerance under abrasion have made Kevlar® increasingly popular with manufacturers of motorcycle components and protective clothing. Kevlar® is found in motorcycle tires, brakes, drive belts and composite parts, as well as in boots, jackets, gloves and helmets.

Sailing/Boating

Kevlar® helps makes hulls lighter, stronger, and far less likely to fail under impact. We have supported the Spirit of Canada Open 60 Yacht that will participate in the Vendome round the world solo race in 2008.

Hiking

Hiking boot manufacturers use Kevlar® in uppers, soles and laces for durability. Kevlar® also appears in outerwear to help protect against tears and abrasion from branches and rocks.

Racquet Sports

Tennis, racquetball, squash and badminton racquets with Kevlar® construction resist cracking and shattering. Kevlar® strings don't stretch as much as conventional strings, and break less frequently. Kevlar® is also incorporated for vibration damping purposes and to protect the carbon fiber, the leading reinforcement for lightweight ultra-rigid tennis rackets, against damage.Some tennis shoe designs have used Kevlar® on the toe section of the upper to help resist abrasion that occurs when players drag their toes during a serve.

Board Sports

Snowboard manufacturers use Kevlar® as a construction material to help increase board stability, reduce chatter (vibration) and keep weight down. In skateboards, Kevlar® helps decks retain their "pop" longer and resist breaking.  Surfboards incorporate Kevlar® for lightweight impact and abrasion resistance.

Baseball

Baseball bats made using Kevlar® have better vibration damping, a higher swing speed and a larger "sweet spot"—the part of the bat where hitters prefer to make contact with the ball. Pro-level gloves and catchers' masks employ Kevlar® so they can be as lightweight as possible.

Canoes and Kayaks

Hulls of canoes and kayaks made with Kevlar® are easier to carry and maneuver because they are lighter than those made from other materials, and their improved impact resistance makes them safer to use. Putting Kevlar® in paddles also increases stiffness, efficiency and impact tolerance.

Hockey

Many ice and field hockey players opt for reinforced sticks made of Kevlar® because they are lightweight and retain their shape better than fiberglass or wood.  When a stick breaks, Kevlar® prevents a sharp break that can injure another player. Goalie masks for both ice hockey and field hockey use Kevlar® for its lightweight impact resistance. Kevlar® even helps protect spectators—it's woven into the large nets that hang between the walls of ice rinks and the fans sitting in the path of errant shots.

Auto Racing

Kevlar® is replacing fiberglass-reinforced plastic in NASCAR® race-car bodies and air dams because it doesn't shatter or leave debris on the track after a crash, resulting in improved safety and shorter delays. In the HANS Device—the life-saving restraining linkage that supports the driver's head and neck— Kevlar® absorbs impact forces that are strong enough to pulverize neck vertebrae. Helmets, suits and gloves use a combination of Kevlar® and DuPont™ Nomex® fibers for better comfort and safety.

Formula 1 cars use Kevlar® straps to retain wheels that break off during crashes, which helps prevent them from bouncing off the track and into the stands.

Skiing

Kevlar® makes high-performance skis and ski boots lighter, stiffer and more responsive, and provides improved vibration damping. Speed, stability and good maneuverability are the qualities expected for high performance skis. Ski poles with Kevlar® tubing are lighter, stronger and more stable. For gloves used in slalom competitions, Kevlar® helps give racers lightweight impact protection.