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Combat Helmets Made Lighter

Honeywell materials used to create military-grade helmets that can be up to 40 percent lighter than‚Äîand exceed the ballistic protection of‚Äîthe U.S. Army's existing combat helmets. 

Honeywell's Spectra Shield® ballistic composite materials are being used by ArmorSource LLC to create helmets that meet the latest military requirements in the U.S. and around the world. ArmorSource provides advanced ballistic head protection products that can be up to 40 percent lighter than‚Äîand exceed the ballistic protection of‚Äîthe U.S. Army's existing combat helmets.

Manufacturers of ballistic protection gear are increasingly transitioning from traditional aramid products to ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) products such as Spectra Shield. Honeywell's Advanced Dynamic Deflection Technology, which provides Spectra Shield's protective properties, enables weight reduction and improved mobility without sacrificing performance.

Honeywell's Advanced Dynamic Deflection Technology enables Spectra Shield-based helmets to more effectively redirect energy from ballistic threats to the head. Even with reduced weight, helmets made with Spectra Shield provide full coverage and protection from small fragments and bullets, ensuring they comply with the latest military requirements.

“Spectra Shield is a state-of-the-art material that is a critical component of our products to better serve military and law enforcement personnel,” said Yoav Kapah, President and CEO, ArmorSource LLC. “Helmets made with Spectra Shield provide less weight-related strain on bodies while maintaining or exceeding ballistic protection. We are excited to utilize Spectra Shield in our products and in our research and development efforts for new helmet platforms.”

ArmorSource supplies Spectra Shield-based helmets to militaries in Australia, Austria, Italy, Spain and other countries, in addition to various U.S. organizations such as the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Marshall Service.

Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. It has up to 60 percent greater strength than alternate aramid fiber and, pound for pound, it is 15 times stronger than steel but is light enough to float. Spectra fiber is used to create Spectra Shield, an advanced ballistic-resistant material that has been widely adopted and proven for the most advanced armor applications globally, from bullet-resistant vests, breast plates, and helmets, to combat vehicles and military aircraft where lightweight solutions and performance are critical.

“Spectra Shield is crucial for militaries seeking next-generation armor that offers the most advanced protection available,” said Tim Swinger, business director for armor at Honeywell Packaging and Composites. “Our collaboration with ArmorSource will bring key improvements to the armor industry that will ensure the availability of the most lightweight, advanced design ballistic helmets possible.”

Josh Byerly
Performance Materials and Technologies