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Thursday 21 August 2014

Kevlar inventor Kwolek dies aged 90

Published 20/06/2014 | 20:37

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The inventor of Kevlar, used in this police helmet, has died at the age of 90

A pioneering DuPont chemist who invented the tough fibres used in Kevlar body armour is being lauded for helping save the lives of thousands of law enforcement officers and soldiers.

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Stepanie Kwolek died at a hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. She was 90.

Ms Kwolek's ground-breaking discovery came in 1965 while she was working on speciality textile fibres. She invented a liquid crystalline solution that could be spun into the synthetic fibres that were stronger than steel.

While Kevlar has become synonymous with body armour, it originally was developed for use in car tyres. It has since become a component in products ranging from planes and armoured military vehicles to mobile phones and sailing boats.

AP

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