Spectra Shield® and Gold Shield® materials will help reduce helmet weight by up to 24 percent while improving performance
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., June 22, 2011 Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that it has been awarded a three-year contract from the U.S. Army to provide advanced ballistic materials that will improve the performance and reduce the weight of combat helmets.
Under the contract, Honeywell will deliver helmets made with next-generation Spectra Shield and Gold Shield ballistic materials to the Army for testing and evaluation. Honeywell's goal is to reduce the weight of the Army's current helmet design by 16 to 24 percent, and also help to improve both the ballistic and non ballistic performance of helmets beyond what is currently available today.
"Honeywell is proud that the Army has selected our materials to support their important goal of improving soldiers' helmets," said James Thagard, global marketing manager for Honeywell's Advanced Fibers and Composites business. "Our materials are already used in helmets, body armor and vehicle armor that protect soldiers in combat situations. This new program will provide soldiers with the latest cutting-edge technologies that offer even better performance."
The contract was awarded to Honeywell by the Army's Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, a government organization responsible for the development, procurement, and fielding of equipment for U.S. Army soldiers.
A key objective for the U.S. military is reducing the weight of soldiers' body armor, which in total can weigh up to 35 pounds. By lightening the load, soldiers will have greater mobility in dangerous situations.
Helmets are a complicated part of a soldier's body armor and are designed to protect against projectile impacts and shockwaves from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Ballistics materials have to be designed to perform when molded into a curved shape such as a helmet.
For more than 20 years, Honeywell's materials have been used in advanced armor systems for a wide a range of ballistic protection and security applications from bullet-resistant vests, breastplates, and helmets to combat vehicles and military aircraft where lightweight solutions and durability are critical. Honeywell ballistic materials protect men and women who serve in the militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world.
Honeywell's patented Spectra Shield products are manufactured by bonding parallel strands of fiber in place with an advanced resin system. In addition to Spectra® fiber, Honeywell adapts this technology to other fibers, including aramid.
Spectra fiber is made from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene using a patented gel-spinning process. The fiber exhibits high resistance to chemicals, water, and ultraviolet light. It has excellent vibration damping, flex fatigue and internal fiber-friction characteristics. It also has up to 60 percent greater specific strength than aramid fiber.
In addition to armor, Spectra fiber also can be used for high-performance marine applications such as lifting and mooring lines, industrial slings and security netting, as well as for novel curtains used to protect windows and doors during hurricanes.
Honeywell maintains an active Spectra fiber and ballistic material research and development program aimed to meet increased demand for its high performance armor materials.
For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/spectra .
Honeywell Specialty Materials is a global leader in providing customers with high-performance specialty materials, including fluorine products; specialty films and additives; advanced fibers and composites; intermediates; specialty chemicals; electronic materials and chemicals; and technologies and materials for petroleum refining.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
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