What Is Kevlar? What You Need to Know

Published On: March 21, 20220 Comments on What Is Kevlar? What You Need to KnowLast Updated: February 1, 20245.3 min read

Not everyone has a safe, cozy job, sitting at a desk while working on a computer all day. Many people are out in the real world, harvesting physical materials, constructing buildings, or flying to space. And these dangerous jobs make up a large percentage of the workforce. Unfortunately, injuries and even deaths aren’t uncommon. But many of these can be avoided with the right safety equipment, and proper training for how to use safety equipment.

What Is Kevlar

Companies that want to ensure their employees are safe will use kevlar. What is kevlar? It’s a type of webbing that is far more reliable than other types of materials. If your team is at risk each time they step on the job site, it’s your responsibility to give them the best safety gear possible. Keep reading to learn what makes kevlar special, and why it should be used on the job.

Kevlar Material in Action

Here are some practical examples to help you understand the importance of kevlar. When law enforcement officers head out for a day on patrol, they are at constant risk. When responding to a call, they never know when they might hear bullets flying, or have someone swing a knife in their direction. That’s why they wear bulletproof vests, which cover their vital organs in puncture-resistant material. And what materials are these vests made of? Usually kevlar. A kevlar vest can absorb the impact of bullets, rather than letting them pierce the material. For the 650,000 law enforcement officers that head out every day to keep our streets safe, kevlar thread is a lifesaving material.

What Is Kevlar?

So what is kevlar, and how is it made? It’s a very strong, very durable type of fiber. The fiber is manufactured in a way that makes it stronger than every other type of fiber. The strength comes from the inter-chain bonds. Fibers are weaved together at a microscopic level using a cross-linked hydrogen bond to hold them all together. It’s a mesh-like material with incredible tensile strength. That means it’s very resistant to breaking while under tension. Pound for pound, kevlar has a higher tensile strength than steel.

Not only is it super strong, but because it’s a type of fiber, it’s also flexible., That’s how it can be used for personal protective equipment. It protects while still allowing for motion and flexibility. Kevlar is technically plastic. Its scientific name is poly-para-phenylene terephthalamide. It’s the result of a chemical reaction where acid is added to a solution containing hydrogen and nitrogen. At its core, kevlar is a product of chemistry. The chemical reaction produces a chain of elements including carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. It’s already very strong, but before the solution can dry, these chains are spun together. The result is an incredibly strong thread, held together by hydrogen bonds that act like glue.

Benefits of Kevlar

So why is this material so sought after in the personal protective equipment (PPE) industry? Here are just a few benefits of kevlar.

Unmatched Tensile Strength

The biggest benefit of kevlar is its strength. It’s much stronger than other types of materials, and is very difficult to break, even with large amounts of tension. It will outmatch steel very easily.

Heat and Flame Resistance

Unlike other types of fabrics and threads, kevlar is incredibly resistant to heat and flame. It won’t catch fire, even when working with flames or torches. It’s also commonly used in manufacturing practices where exposure to extreme heat is common.


Kevlar is so useful because it’s a flexible material. This allows it to be used in nearly every product, from clothing to webbing. And because it’s lightweight, it’s easy to wear for long periods of time. Just ask the police officer that wears body armor for a 12-hour shift.

Ballistic, Cut, and Puncture Resistance

Kevlar vests are used to stop bullets. They will also prevent cuts and punctures. Sharp tools like knives and puncture risks like nails and needles won’t stand a chance.

What Is Kevlar - kevlar police vest

Uses for Kevlar

So what is kevlar used for? Here are just a few common examples.

Body Armor

As mentioned earlier, kevlar is the ideal material for body armor used by law enforcement, military, first responders, and prison guards. It’s generally lightweight and flexible, making it easy to wear all day long while still performing basic tasks. It resists bullets, punctures, and cuts. And it’s not just a bulletproof vest they can wear. Kevlar can be woven into anything from gloves and belts, or combined with other materials to make other types of clothing.

Webbing and Netting

Much of the kevlar used in PPE comes in the form of webbing. This webbing is commonly used to create safety harnesses when working up high. It’s also used when working with hot materials. Those working in the aerospace industry need harnesses that won’t catch fire when using torches and other tools. Because kevlar is heat and flame resistant, it’s the perfect material for harnesses and straps. You can also use kevlar webbing for cargo straps and netting, fall arrest systems, and drag rescue devices. Check out https://osnf.com/kevlar-webbing/ for more information on kevlar webbing.

Construction Clothing

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous yet most important jobs in the country. Workers will commonly use boots, gloves, and pads made with kevlar to protect them from sharp materials common on job sites.

Recreational Equipment

Kevlar isn’t just for workers and law enforcement. It’s a common material in recreational and sports equipment. The inner lining of bicycle tires, for example, usually contains kevlar. Skis and snowboards use a core made of kevlar since it’s lightweight, flexible, and virtually unbreakable.

Drum Heads

Like to play music? Then you might have experience with kevlar already. Drum heads are commonly made with kevlar since they are subject to heavy abuse from the swinging drumsticks.

Kevlar Is the Best of the Best

So what is kevlar? It’s an extremely strong, durable, and flexible thread that can be made into virtually anything. It’s used in clothing, body armor, and all types of PPE to keep workers in many different industries safe. When purchasing safety products, give your team the best of the best. Looking for more tips like this? Visit our blog now to keep reading.

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