14 Novembre 2023

“We’re proud to offer a ballistic material that protects both people and the planet”

Dyneema, an Avient brand, has been offering innovative ballistic material for the last 30 years

Milipol Paris Daily spoke with Marcelo Van de Kamp, Global Business Director for Personal Protection at Avient, in an exclusive interview. He outlined the impressive history of Dyneema and discussed the latest innovations as well as the company’s goals for the future.

Why is Milipol Paris an important event for Avient? What are some of your main goals at the show this year?
Our main goal for this year’s Milipol Paris 2023 exhibition is to understand the challenges the industry is currently facing so we can continue to provide an integrated portfolio that’s focused on protecting the whole person. To that end, we’ll be showcasing our more than 30-year history of product leadership and showcasing new material innovations that will continue to shift the performance of ballistic armour applications.

This year’s Milipol marks 10 years since you launched the Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology platform. What made this so revolutionary at the time? How has it evolved and remained relevant over the last ten years?
It’s been three decades since we released our first unidirectional (UD) material to bring the benefits of Dyneema to military and law enforcement personnel. This was followed by a series of game-changing innovations, including the introduction of Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology. Since 2013, our Dyneema Force Multiplier Technology platform has been delivering uncompromising performance and protection for the world’s most elite armed forces including adoption by leading law enforcement agencies and NATO member states. We’ve also been able to adapt our product portfolio to meet the needs of the European market – with product grades specifically targeted towards performance benefits related to the end-use application.

With our next-generation material, we can enable weight savings of upwards of 20 percent in protective body armour.

What can you tell us about your third-generation ballistic material that was recently launched? What sets this material apart?
By leveraging our unique position as the only backwards integrated UHMWPE manufacturer, we’ve been able to innovate our third-generation fibre at the polymer level. This development has yielded a higher-tenacity fibre – resulting in increased ballistic stopping power in our new unidirectional (UD) material. Our newest fibre technology is cross-plied at 0- and 90-degree orientations to form the UD sheet – this construction enables superior energy dissipation and distribution in the armour system. Both the fibre and UD have been engineered for peak performance. The latest polymer innovation, and corresponding fibre development, are critical as they are steps in the manufacturing process for Dyneema UD – the material inside soft and hard armour applications that provides ballistic stopping power. With our next-generation material, we can enable weight savings of upwards of 20 percent in protective body armour. In addition, our next-gen material has the additional advantage of being made from bio-based Dyneema fibre – which enables a carbon footprint reduction up to 90 percent lower than generic HMPE fibre. This is especially important as governmental agencies look to increase regulations around CO2 emissions for the personal protection market – and we’re proud to offer a ballistic material that protects both people and the planet. Finally, we produce our materials at our manufacturing sites in Greenville, North Carolina and Heerlen in the Netherlands, thereby offering local supply sources to NATO member states as well as security of supply as we produce most grades at both sites from ingredients secured within NATO. 

According to Marcelo Van de Kamp, Global Business Director, the impacts of geo-political tensions will continue to drive increased defence spending by many NATO member states. This will in turn drive the demand for ballistic materials and personal protection equipment, with an important focus on sourcing and the value chain of equipment and materials. Marcelo Van de Kamp encouraged consumers and end-users to understand the origins of the material inside their ballistic armour, emphasising the trust that can be placed in products that have been on the market long enough to build a significant reputation, such as Dyneema.

The second trend Marcelo Van de Kamp underlined was the priority of lightweight materials. Over the past two decades, there’s been a significant interest from military agencies to increase protection levels while simultaneously reducing the weight of the armour system, and this trend is continuing. He stressed that “In combat situations, mobility and survivability are directly linked and individual armour systems impact both.” This means that reducing weight and improving ergonomics can also increase survivability, and the technology Dyneema uses to make its fibres still has room for further improvement. For Marcelo Van de Kamp, this is exactly what the end-users around the world are looking for.

Hall 5A / Stand A094