DuPont Celebrates Techplast, Winner of 2012 EMEA Kevlar® Innovation Award
Luca CorredigE-mail: Luca.Corredig@che.dupont.com
Geneva, Switzerland, June, 2012 - DuPont is pleased to announce the winner of the DuPont™ Kevlar® Innovation Awards, which showcase ideas, methods, technologies, applications, products and services using DuPont™ Kevlar® in a new way. This year’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) award was bestowed to Techplast, a company based in Poland, for their innovative use of Kevlar® in SAFER® ultra-light composite cylinders.
The award criteria focused on the use of DuPont™ Kevlar® with new materials or new processing technologies and the creativity in the use of DuPont™ Kevlar® in new applications. It also considered the innovation’s capacity to enhance protection of people, processes or the environment, as well as the entrant’s collaboration with DuPont or other companies and organisations.
The DuPont™ Kevlar® Innovation Award was judged by a prestigious panel of experts: Professor Richard Schilling of Reutlingen University in Germany; Nick Brown, Editor in Chief at Jane's International Defence Review; and Beatrice Moureaux, Technology Manager for DuPont Protection Technologies. The panel conferred the award to Techplast for their use of Kevlar® in SAFER®, a new generation of pressurised cylinders for lighter and safer gas storage.
Thanks to Kevlar®, Techplast managed to reinforce the structure of traditional cylinders, while achieving a drastic reduction in their weight. It is the difference in weight that makes the SAFER® cylinders an ideal choice for medical and emergency response services. Such cylinders are in fact commonly used by firemen, paramedics and divers for oxygen storage. Techplast, by reducing the weight by up to 65% as compared to traditional steel cylinders, offers substantial benefits to those operating in challenging environments where burden reduction represents an improvement.
In order to reward such creativity with a trophy able to truly reflect the nature of Kevlar®, DuPont partnered up with ECAL/University of Art and Design in Lausanne, one of the most prestigious art and design schools in Switzerland. Master students in Product Design at ECAL were given the opportunity to showcase their talent by designing the Kevlar® Innovation Award trophy, in order to create a piece of art capable of echoing the principles of the contest. “Floating Shield” by Anurag Etchepareborda was ultimately chosen as the winning design. The trophy – displaying a simple and organic shape made of Kevlar® that seems to be floating while protecting the body part – was in fact prized for representing well both the lightness and strength of the material. Click here to see a video of the Kevlar® Innovation Award Trophy design process.
DuPont recognised Techplast as the Winner of the 2012 Kevlar® Innovation Award at Eurosatory, an international tradeshow taking place in Paris. The jury also decided to dedicate a special honorable mention to Julian Piatek from the Laboratory for Quantum Magnetism at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. The use of Kevlar® threads in the world’s only existing piezoactuator driven SQUID magnetometer – allowing cooling to ultra-low temperature – impressed the panel, which appreciated the numerous possibilities for future commercial and research applications of such innovation.
“Since its first commercial use in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in tyres, Kevlar® has become one of the leading protection brand worldwide,” said Thomas G. Powell, President of DuPont Protection Technologies. “Kevlar® is especially known for its ability to protect people in law enforcement, the military and industrial personal protection, but it also provides strength and lightweight protection in aircraft and applications such as cables for fibre optics and oil platforms ─ all creative solutions that improve our daily lives. The DuPont™ Kevlar® Innovation Award gives innovators the opportunity to showcase the incredible things they do with Kevlar® in order to help make our world a safer place today and in the future.”
The award announcement comes during an important time for Kevlar®. A new DuPont™ Kevlar® facility opened near Charleston, S.C., in 2011 and represents a $500 million expansion in Kevlar® capacity. The plant uses state-of-the-art technology that will allow DuPont to meet increased customer demand for advanced protective materials in emerging industries around the world by expanding its portfolio of science-based innovations and boosting productivity.