DSM Dyneema has announced several important new accomplishments at its ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) materials manufacturing facility (Greenville, North Carolina, US) that underscore the company’s growing global position as a leading supplier of advanced materials solutions for the life protection industry. These include the opening of a new facility for the manufacture of Dyneema® Ballistic Tape; the critical role the company played in Ceradyne Inc.’s successful development of the new enhanced combat helmet (ECH) for the United States Marine Corps and Army, and ongoing investment in cutting-edge product development.

The announcements – made at a press conference where guests included political and local dignitaries, DSM and DSM Dyneema management and company employees – focused on DSM Dyneema’s ongoing commitment to the defence, law enforcement and civilian protection sectors, through advanced new life protection innovations that ‘lighten the load’ and increase peace-of-mind protection.

"We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made, driven by our unyielding commitment to protect the lives of those who bravely and selflessly perform their duties to make the world a safer place," said Christian Widdershoven, global vice president, Life Protection, DSM Dyneema. "Our support to our customers such as Ceradyne; our mandate to develop newer and better life protection technologies; and the opening of our new ballistic tape facility in Greenville, make it clear that we are committed to bringing innovations and next-generation solutions to the market."

An example of next-generation solutions is DSM Dyneema’s HB80 unidirectional (UD) composite – one of the highest-performing ballistic materials on the market today. The material is Ceradyne’s winning choice to develop the new ECH. In March 2012, Ceradyne was awarded an initial production order for the ECH and expects to receive a full multi-year production order by the end of the second quarter of 2012. Dyneema HB80 composite gives the ECH exceptional fragmentation performance without increasing weight.

The Greenville plant is now the site for the new large scale facility that will manufacture Dyneema Ballistic Tape for the defence and law enforcement industries, as well as other developing applications.

This high-end product features many of the same performance properties of Dyneema UD composite and gives manufacturers greater flexibility in armour design while providing cost-effective protection against high-velocity ballistics and fragments. Application areas include both body and vehicle armour such as spall liners, inserts and shields.

The Greenville site employs more than 1,500 people, who are involved with the manufacture of Dyneema fiber and pharmaceutical products. This skilled workforce has enabled DSM Dyneema to expand and enhance its production over the past decade. The company has received excellent workforce development support over the years through new and expanding industry training grants and career readiness certificate training. DSM’s total employment across North Carolina is 1,600 people.