Next, the powder is dissolved and then heated in an extruder, using our proprietary gel-spinning process to disentangle the molecules. The heated substance is forced through a plate with hundreds of tiny holes – at which point the resulting elongated molecules begin to resemble a fiber. This is when high-strength Dyneema® begins to take shape!
But we’re not done yet. Our draw cycle process then further aligns the molecules into strands, creating an extremely strong yarn that in turn is wound onto spools, ready for use.
From fiber to unidirectional composite
Of course, before Dyneema® fiber can be used in applications such as protective body armor, it has to be transformed into a new form factor: a unidirectional (UD) material known as Dyneema® UD. In this step, the fibers are laid parallel to each other, impregnated with a water-based resin, and allowed to dry. The fully dried layer is sent to a cross-ply machine where the roll is cut into sheets. An additional layer of impregnated filaments is then placed on top and the two layers are laminated together.
The fully dried layer is sent to a cross-ply machine where the roll is cut into sheets. An additional layer of impregnated filaments is then placed on top and the two layers are laminated together. Each roll of Dyneema® UD can consist of four separate layers of unidirectional yarns, giving the material its ultra-high strength properties. Different resins can be impregnated between the layers depending on the specific properties required for the end application.
From fiber to fabrics
Science and collaboration make a great match. That’s because our fiber can be further processed by the application manufacturer, for example by weaving, knitting, or bonding Dyneema® with other materials (such as cotton or wool) to create high-strength fabrics. These composites form the basis of protective clothing from work wear to motorcycle gear and beyond.
Alternatively, Dyneema® is sold as a finished fabric, Dyneema® Composite Fabric (DCF), which can easily be incorporated into specialty applications such as backpacks and other outdoor equipment.