Kevlar-chemical perspective

I’m really interested in Kevlar fiber-used in bulletproof vests- because it’s stronger than steel, yet weigh much less than steel. Could you explain how Kevlar is so strong yet is light-weighted? what is the chemical procedure of making Kevlar? and is there any environmental damage caused by Kevlar?

Thank you

Ashan :cool:

Project’s due tmorrow huh? C’mon … if we’re going to be your homework whore at least kiss us a little. and tell us we’re pretty.


It’s actually for a web site that i’m creating about bullet proof vests…(therefore it’s not due tomorrow :stuck_out_tongue:
Thanks for the web site anywayz… (i’ll skip the kissing and pretty part)

Kevlar has been linked to the deformation of naturally occuring flying lead slugs and leaving them littered all over a city sidewalk.

Could Kevlar have been made in the 19th Century?
The 18th?

not really. Its a bit like asking if a helicopter could be made in the 19th century. Yes if they had 20th century technology. In the case of Kevlar, the starting materials were only being produced at the end of the 19th century, and they had no real idea of polymers, how to make or process them until the early 20th.

Ashon,the spider silk,from a web,is far stronger that Kevlar,trouble is,they dont have’nt quite figured out how to manufacture it yet,in high quantity anyways.If they do,it would change alot in this world,imagine what it could be used for.Endless!! :cool:

actually I would stick to Kevlar. Spiders silk would not be very practical, being rather hydrolytically unstable to moisture. Its legendary strength is rather exaggerated, and probably no better than Kevlar. It is only 1/10 to half as stiff as kevlar. which would rule it out for many applications. Its main attribute is that it is absorbs at least twice as much energy before break as Kevlar, which would make it good for bullet proof vests. It still is an amazing fibre, just not as good as the hype given to it by the the spider silk researchers looking for their next grant.
some physical properties of spiders silk at

It’s no longer the champ, though… Recently, a composite was made containing carbon nanofibers, which is both stronger and tougher than spiderweb. Pure nanofiber would presumably be even better, except that we don’t yet have the technology to make it in bulk.

There’s nothing about the synthesis of Kevlar that would specifically stop a late 19th-century organic chemist from preparing it, provided the necessary starting materials were available. It’s possible that some of the reagents would have had to be synthesized in the lab rather than purchased. The reaction is done under an inert atmosphere (nitrogen) and requires dry conditions, which is difficult by late 19th-century standards but probably not impossible. If you want to include Kevlar in a story or something, it’d work, but the person creating it would have to have special knowledge (bulletproof vest from the future or something) or a very strong hunch, a lot of dedication, and good synthetic skills.

Kevlar would certainly not have been possible in the 18th century. People were capable of some basic organic chemistry then (dyes and things like that) but had practically no idea how it worked.

Thanks moriah and everybody else…

Do you know where exactly it happened? then I can research about it and find out more because I didn’t had any ideas on environmental damges caused by kevlar.

Kevlar is also used many other applications such as sports and areas where you get exposed to high temp. Dupont invented Kevlar and they used it in the Mars pathfinder. It’s pretty amazing how two “polymers” croos linked together can stop a bullet…

Whoosh. :smack: