Bulletproof polythene is 40% stronger than Kevlar

2019-03-01 12:02:05

It’s the mundane stuff of plastic bags and sandwich boxes, but polyethylene has a more streetwise talent: in the form of dense, high-molecular-weight fibres it can stop a bullet in its tracks. But no one has ever succeeded in making an ultra-thin, concealable, easy-to-move-in bulletproof vest from it. Until now, that is. Polymer maker DSM of Heerlen, the Netherlands, is selling Dyneema SB61, a still tougher – and secret – formulation of polyethylene fibre. Weight for weight, it is 15 times stronger than steel and 40 per cent stronger than that other staple of the bulletproof vest,