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Kevlar by Abhishek Jaguessar

Kevlar by Abhishek Jaguessar

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Published by: reedoye21 on Aug 26, 2011
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KEVLAR – BY ABHISHEK JAGUESSAR
Kevlar 
is the registered trademarkfor a para-aramidsynthetic fiber , related to other aramids such as NomexandTechnora. Developed at DuPontin 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires. Typically it is spun into ropes or  fabricsheets that can be used as such or as an ingredient incomposite materialcomponents.Currently, Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its hightensile strength-to-weight ratio; by this measure it is 5 times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. When usedas a woven material, it is suitable for mooring lines and other underwater applications.A similar fiber calledTwaronwith roughly the same chemical structure was developed by Akzo in the 1970s; commercial productionstarted in 1986, and Twaron is now manufactured by Teijin.
History
Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide - branded Kevlar - was invented by Stephanie Kwolekwhile working for DuPont. In anticipation of a gas shortage, in 1964 her group began searching for anew lightweight strong fiber to use for light but strong tires. The polymers she had been working with atthe time, poly-p-Phenylene-terephthalate and polybenzamide, formed liquid crystal while in solution,something unique to those polymers at the time.The solution was "cloudy, opalescent upon being stirred, and of low viscosity" and usually was thrown
 
away. However, Kwolek persuaded the technician, Charles Smullen, who ran the "spinneret" to test her solution, and was amazed to find that the fiber did not break, unlike nylon. Both her supervisor andlaboratory director understood the significance of her discovery and a new field of  polymer chemistryquickly arose. By 1971, modern Kevlar was introduced. However, Kwolek was not very involved indeveloping the applications of Kevlar.
Production
Kevlar issynthesizedin solution from the monomers 1,4-phenylene-diamine (
-phenylenediamine) andterephthaloyl chloridein a condensation reactionyielding hydrochloric acidas a byproduct. The result has liquid-crystallinebehavior, and mechanical drawing orients the polymer chains in the fiber's direction.Hexamethylphosphoramide (HMPA) was the solvent initially used for the polymerization, but for safetyreasons, DuPont replaced it by a solution of 
-methyl-pyrrolidone and calcium chloride. As this processwas patented by Akzo (see above) in the production of Twaron, a patent war ensued.Kevlar (poly paraphenylene terephthalamide) production is expensive because of the difficulties arisingfrom using concentratedsulfuric acid, needed to keep the water-insoluble polymer in solution during its synthesis andspinning.Several grades of Kevlar are available:
1.
Kevlar K-29
– in industrial applications, such as cables, asbestosreplacement, brake linings, and body/vehicle armor.
2.
Kevlar K49
– high modulus used in cable and rope products.
3.
Kevlar K100 
– colored version of Kevlar 
4.
Kevlar K119
– higher-elongation, flexible and more fatique resistant.
5.
Kevlar K129
– higher tenacity for ballistic applications.
6.
Kevlar AP 
– has 15% higher tenacity than K-29.
7.
Kevlar XP 
– lighter weight resin and KM2 plus fiber combination.
8.
 – enhanced ballistic resistance for armor applicationsThe ultraviolet component of sunlight degrades and decomposes Kevlar, a problem known as UVdegradation, and so it is rarely used outdoors without protection against sunlight.
Structure and properties
When Kevlar isspun, the resulting fiber has atensile strength
 
of about 3,620 MPa, and a relative densityof 1.44. The polymer owes its high strength to the many inter-chain bonds. These inter-molecular hydrogen bonds form between the carbonyl groups and N
centers. Additional strength is derived fromaromatic stacking interactions between adjacent strands. These interactions have a greater influence onKevlar than the van der Waals interactions and chain length that typically influence the properties of other synthetic polymers and fibers such as Dyneema. The presence of salts and certain other impurities, especially calcium, could interfere with the strand interactions and caution is used to avoid inclusion in its production.Kevlar's structure consists of relatively rigid molecules which tend to form mostly planar sheet-likestructures rather likesilkprotein.
Thermal properties
Kevlar maintains its strength and resilience down to cryogenic temperatures (−196 °C); in fact, it isslightly stronger at low temperatures. At higher temperatures the tensile strength is immediately reducedby about 10–20%, and after some hours the strength progressively reduces further. For example at 160°C (320 °F) about 10% reduction in strength occurs after 500 hours. At 260 °C (500 °F) 50% strengthreduction occurs after 70 hours.
Armor 
Kevlar is a well-known component of  personal armor such ascombat helmets, Ballistic face masks, and Ballistic vests. ThePASGT helmet and vestused by United Statesmilitary forces from the 1980s into 2005 both have Kevlar as a key component, as do their replacements. Other military uses include bulletproof facemasks used by sentries and spall liners usedto protect the crews of armoured fighting vehicles. Related civilian applications include Emergency Service's protection gear if it involves high heat (e.g.,tackling a fire), and Kevlar body armor such as vests for police officers, security, and SWAT.
Personal protection
Kevlar is used to manufacture gloves, sleeves, jackets, chaps and other articles of clothing designed toprotect users from cuts, abrasions and heat. Kevlar based protective gear is often considerably lighter and thinner than equivalent gear made of more traditional materials.
Sports equipment
It is used as an inner lining for somebicycle tires to prevent punctures, and due to its excellent heat resistance, is used for fire poi wicks. In table tennis,plies of Kevlar are added to custom ply blades, or paddles, in order to increase bounce and reduceweight. It is used for  motorcycle safety clothing, especially in the areas featuring padding such as shoulders and elbows. It was also used as speedcontrol patches for certainSoap Shoesmodels.InKyudoor Japanese archery, it may be used as an alternative to more expensivehempfor  bow strings. It is one of the main materials used for paraglider suspension lines.It is also used in the laces for the adidas F50adizero Prime football boot.It is even used in sails for high performance racing boats.
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