Kevlar is the commercial name for poly(p-phenylene terephtalamide). It was first developed as a replacement for steel in radial tyres, but now is most well known for its use in bulletproof vests, and also has many other uses including windsurfing sails and in high friction apparatus such as brake parts and gears.
Kevlar is an extremely strong and light substance, it is five times stronger weight for weight than steel, and only 20 layers can stop a 9mm handgun bullet travelling at 1200 feet per second.
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Last updated 17/6/2002
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