DSM NV’s Dyneema-brand high-performance polyethylene fiber unit is having a solid year so far in 2010.
Earlier this year, the business landed a large contract to produce material for use in add-on armor on the Stryker combat vehicle, which is used extensively by the U.S. Army. The Stryker vehicle “continues to be one of the more successful platforms in the operating field in Afghanistan,” DSM officials said in a recent news release.
Stryker vehicles, along with the M-ATV combat vehicles, “are considered to be the workhorse platforms in the fight against terrorism,” officials added.
Stryker armor system components using Dyneema will be made by TenCate Advance Armor USA, a unit of Dutch conglomerate Koninklijke Tencate NV. DSM is based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, and maked Dyneema there as well as at a plant in Greenville, N.C.
Dyneema is made from ultra-high molecular weight PE and can protect against a range of projectiles, from handgun ammunition to antitank weaponry and mines. DSM completed a $50 million expansion of Dyneema production in Greenville in 2006.
Also this year, DSM introduced Dyneema for use in vests, helmets and inserts used by German law enforcement officers. Those products are based on Dyneema’s Hard Ballistic (HB) and Soft Ballistic (SB) systems. German officials also are using Dyneema in mandible (jaw) guards, where the material offers protection against blunt force impacts.
Outside of military/law enforcement markets, Dyneema is being used in huge slings for loading wind turbine piles onto barges at a port in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. Two of the slings are used to lift individual piles weighing more than 1.4 million pounds each onto barges for delivery in London, where they’ll be used on a massive wind farm.
DSM officials said the slings are just as strong as slings made with steel wire, but have only one-seventh of the weight. Using the slings also trims a full day off of the unloading process, yielding daily savings of more than $70,000.
The Dyneema slings are sold under the Ultralift brand name and are made by Technotex in Coevorden, the Netherlands.