MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. --- Honeywell announced today that it has developed a new line of Spectra fiber-based materials with improved ballistic stopping capability for body and vehicle armor.
The new line of materials, called Spectra Shield II, has demonstrated up to 20 percent greater ballistic performance than Honeywell's standard Spectra Shield product line, which already uses one of the strongest man-made fibers in commercial use today. Pound for pound, Spectra fiber is 15 times stronger than steel yet light enough to float. Shield technology is a patented Honeywell process designed to optimize the ballistic performance characteristics of Spectra fiber.
For Spectra Shield II ballistic materials, Honeywell has adapted its patented shield technology to incorporate its new and improved fiber. Spectra S3000 fiber was developed specifically for use in armor applications to help manufacturers and the military counter new ballistic threats.
"Our armor materials have been used to protect military and police personnel for nearly 20 years," said Joe Gelo, business director for Honeywell's Advanced Fibers and Composites business. "We continue to invest in improving our materials to meet the future performance requirements of advanced military and law enforcement agencies. Our latest offering demonstrates our commitment to continued innovation in the ballistic protection arena."
Honeywell has completed upgrades of several production lines to manufacture the fiber used for Spectra Shield II and plans to make additional investments to meet the growing need.
Honeywell's patented Spectra Shield and Spectra Shield II materials are used in advanced armor systems for a wide a range of ballistic protection and security applications -- from bullet-resistant vests, breastplates, and helmets to combat vehicles and military aircraft -- where lightweight solutions and durability are critical. This latest Spectra fiber-based material, like Honeywell's existing products, is transparent to radar.
Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fiber exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light. It has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics. It also has up to 60 percent greater specific strength than aramid fiber.
The various Spectra Shield products are manufactured by bonding parallel strands of fiber in place with an advanced resin system. In addition to Spectra fiber, Honeywell adapts this technology to other fibers, including aramid.
Honeywell also produces Spectra fiber for industrial applications such as rope and marine cordage. Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic material research and development program aimed to meet increased demand for its high performance armor materials.
Honeywell Specialty Materials, based in Morristown, N.J., is a $4.7 billion, global leader in providing customers with high-performance specialty materials, including fluorine products; specialty films and additives; advanced fibers and composites; intermediates; specialty chemicals; electronic materials and chemicals; and technologies and materials for petroleum refining.
Honeywell International is a $33 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. It is one of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is also a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.