Dyneema® Unveils Breakthrough Innovation to Enable Weight Savings of Up to 20% in Protective Body Armor

Two men shooting guns at target practice

The world’s strongest fiber™ just got stronger, thanks to next generation material developments

Dyneema (owned by Avient Corporation) has announced the launch of a next generation UniDirectional (UD) material innovation based on its third-generation fiber, Dyneema SB301, a cutting-edge development poised to enhance the safety and mobility of law enforcement officers.

As the only backwards integrated UltraHigh Molecular Weight PolyEthylene (UHMWPE) manufacturer, Dyneema was able to innovate its third-generation fiber at the molecular level. This development has enabled a higher tenacity fiber which is then cross-plied in 0 and 90 degree sheets to make UD material – allowing for increased energy dissipation and distribution and results in increased ballistic stopping power. The first application for the next generation material is soft armor vests. The upgrade in performance enables body armor manufacturers to design protective solutions which are 10-20% lighter than previous technologies.

Both the fiber and UD laminates have been engineered for peak performance which translates into a 15% increase in V50 performance for protection against 9mm ammunition and an eight percent increase in V50 performance for protection against .44 Magnum ammunition, for example.

Additionally, this material provides up to a 20% weight reduction for NIJ Level IIIA vests made with Dyneema SB301.

“In every situation, weight is now considered to be the top priority after ballistic stopping power,” said Marcelo van de Kamp, Global Business Director for Personal Protection for Dyneema at Avient. “That’s because survivability is directly tied to weight savings when speed and agility determine outcomes. We’ve long been known as the ‘world’s strongest fiber,’ but that won’t stop us from finding new opportunities to get stronger. This new product is the latest demonstration of our commitment to both innovation and protection.”

Dyneema SB301 is part of a long line of innovation, surpassing the performance of Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology which itself marked a radical step forward in ballistic performance.

“We understand the pivotal role weight plays in mission success for law enforcement and military personnel. We’re proud to offer a next generation UD material which enables body armor manufacturers to design soft armor vests which are up to 20% lighter than previous solutions, all while maintaining the highest levels of ballistic protection.”

Beyond strength, Dyneema SB301 has the additional advantage of being made from bio-based Dyneema fiber which enables a carbon footprint up to 90% lower than generic High Modulus PolyEthylene (HMPE) fiber.

Now available for use in law enforcement vests for the US market, Dyneema SB301 material is manufactured in Greenville, North Carolina, in compliance with the Berry Amendment. Future innovations are anticipated beyond using this third-generation fiber, including hard ballistic product grades suitable for military vests, insert panels, ballistic helmets, and vehicle armor, and will be available for customer use and product development in early 2024.

When can law enforcement personnel expect access to this new technology? The availability for end users hinges on advancements by body armor manufacturers and NIJ testing, making it impossible to provide a precise date. Nonetheless, it is anticipated to be within the range of 12 to 18 months.

For more information, visit dyneema.com