About Dyneema

DSM commercially produces the strongest fibre in the world, Dyneema®.

The basic theory about how a superstrong polyethylene fibre should look was already available in the thirties. It took almost half a century to produce the high performance polyethylene fibre (HPPE).

In 1979 DSM invented and patented this fibre and the gel spinning process to produce it.

Dyneema® fibres have been in commercial production since 1990 at their plant at Heerlen, the Netherlands. The production of Dyneema® fibres demands relatively little energy and uses no aggressive chemicals. In the USA DSM has granted a manufacturers license to Honeywell.

Dyneema Properties
Dyneema® fibres have a unique combination of properties. The density is slightly less than one, so the fibre floats on water. But the tenacity is the highest in the world and can be up to 15 times that of a good quality steel! The modulus is very high and is second only to that of special carbon fibres grades. Elongation at break is as low for Dyneema® fibres as for other high performance fibres, but due to the high tenacity the energy to break is high.

Dyneema® fibres can absorb extremely high amounts of energy. This property is utilized in products for ballistic protection. But this makes the fibre equally suited for products such as cut-resistant gloves, motor helmets and to improve the impact strength of laminated boat hulls. In these applications not only the high tenacity is used but also the high energy absorption.

Dyneema® UD

UD stands for ‘unidirectional’: in Dyneema® UD all the fibers are laid parallel, in the same plane, rather than being woven together. Dyneema® UD is made of several layers of Dyneema® fibers, with the direction of fibers in each layer at 90° to the direction of the fibers in the adjacent layers.

Dyneema® UD is a unique lightweight composite providing superior anti-ballistic protection, for both personal and vehicle.

The unidirectional configuration of the fibers in Dyneema® UD allows the energy transferred from the impact of a bullet or other threat to be distributed along the fibers much faster and more efficiently than in conventional woven fabrics. This is because the absorption power of the yarn in woven fabrics is lost at the crossover points, as these points reflect rather than absorb the shockwaves of the impact. In Dyneema® UD, much more of the material is engaged in stopping the bullet, making it more effective against ballistics.

Dyneema® UD is available in two types:

Dyneema UD-SB
For ‘soft ballistic’ body armour to protect against handgun ammunition:

  • Lightweight and flexible for maximum wearing comfort
  • Strongly reduced blunt trauma effect
  • Excellent protection against more aggressive handgun bullets
  • Performance unaffected by moisture

Dyneema UD-HB

For ‘hard ballistic’ applications for both personal and vehicle protection:

  • Excellent protection against rifle fire (e.g. NATO Ball, AK47, Dragunov)
  • Excellent mechanical rigidity and toughness
  • Complex shapes can easily be molded
  • Resistant to both high and low temperatures, such as those occurring in vehicles or in extreme climates

Performance unaffected by moisture

Positive buoyancy in water (ideal for marine operations)