Sporting Goods Apparel and Accessories Made to Win
DuPont™ Kevlar® helps make sporting goods lighter, and stronger.
The quest for lighter, stronger, and safer sporting goods has made Kevlar® a popular choice for both equipment manufacturers and consumers. The same properties and performance attributes that have proven so effective in industrial and life-protection applications also appeal to athletes, outdoors enthusiasts, and anyone else looking for better performance in sports products.
The legendary strength and light weight of Kevlar® brand aramid fiber are only the starting point. Its natural toughness helps allow fabrics and threads to stand up to repeated abuse. Kevlar® helps minimize vibration transfer and can sustain deformation without breaking. And because its ductility helps prevent it from shattering or suffering the kind of catastrophic failure so common in carbon composites and fiberglass, it can be more reliable in high-impact situations.
Sports that use Kevlar® fiber —
Stiffness, impact tolerance and thermal tolerance under abrasion have made Kevlar® increasingly popular with manufacturers of motorcycle components and protective clothing. Kevlar® is found in motorcycle tires, brakes, drive belts, and composite parts, as well as in boots, jackets, gloves, and helmets.
Kevlar® helps makes hulls lighter, stronger, and far less likely to fail under impact. We have supported the Spirit of Canada Open 60 yacht that participated in the Vendome round-the-world solo race in 2008.
Hiking boot manufacturers use Kevlar® in uppers, soles, and laces for durability. Kevlar® also appears in outerwear to help protect against tears and abrasion from branches and rocks.
Tennis, racquetball, squash, and badminton racquets with Kevlar® construction resist cracking and shattering. Strings of Kevlar® don’t stretch as much as conventional strings, and break less frequently. Kevlar® is also incorporated for vibration-damping purposes and to help protect the carbon fiber, the leading reinforcement for lightweight ultra-rigid tennis rackets, against damage. Some tennis shoe designs have used Kevlar® on the toe section of the upper to help resist abrasion that occurs when players drag their toes during a serve.
Snowboard manufacturers use Kevlar® as a construction material to help increase board stability, reduce chatter (vibration), and keep weight down. In skateboards, Kevlar® helps decks retain their “pop” longer and resist breaking. Surfboards incorporate Kevlar® for lightweight impact and abrasion resistance.
Baseball bats made using Kevlar® have better vibration damping, a higher swing speed and a larger “sweet spot” — the part of the bat where hitters prefer to make contact with the ball. Pro-level gloves and catchers’ masks employ Kevlar® to help them be as lightweight as possible.
Canoes and kayaks
Hulls of canoes and kayaks made with Kevlar® are easier to carry and maneuver because they are lighter than those made from other materials, with improved impact resistance. Putting Kevlar® in paddles also helps increases stiffness, efficiency, and impact tolerance.
Many ice and field hockey players opt for reinforced sticks made of Kevlar® because they help them be lightweight and retain their shape better than fiberglass or wood. When a stick breaks, Kevlar® helps prevents a sharp break that can injure another player. Goalie masks for both ice hockey and field hockey use Kevlar® because it helps with lightweight impact resistance. Kevlar® even helps protect spectators — it’s woven into the large nets that hang between the walls of ice rinks and the fans sitting in the path of errant shots.
Kevlar® fiber is replacing fiberglass-reinforced plastic in NASCAR® racecar bodies and air dams because it doesn’t shatter or leave debris on the track after a crash, which can result in improved safety and shorter delays. Kevlar® is used in the HANS Device — the life-saving restraining linkage that supports the driver’s head and neck that helps absorbs impact forces that are strong enough to damage neck vertebrae. Helmets, suits, and gloves use a combination of Kevlar® aramid fibers and DuPont™ Nomex® flame resistant fibers for better comfort and safety.
Formula 1 cars use straps made with Kevlar® to help retain wheels that break off during crashes, which helps prevent them from bouncing off the track and into the stands.
Kevlar® helps makes high-performance skis and ski boots lighter, stiffer, and more responsive, and helps provide improved vibration damping. Speed, stability, and good maneuverability are the qualities expected for high-performance skis. Tubing with Kevlar® helps ski poles be lighter, stronger, and stable. For gloves used in slalom competitions, Kevlar® helps give racers lightweight impact protection.