We like to say Dyneema® is “born from science.”

Over the years, our technical centers and R&D facilities have led the way in developing the world’s strongest fiber™ – our best-in-class, super-adaptable, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). In other words, we’ve got the science of Dyneema® down to a fine art.

Our exceptional fiber, and corresponding form factors, are integrated into next-generation products across a wide range of applications and industries. Curious to know how we deliver STRENGTHplus+ so much more? Here’s a look at what goes on behind the scenes.

From gas to UHMWPE powder

Our story starts with a gas called ethylene, which is processed in our dedicated polymerization plant to make polyethylene: a common building block used to make a wide range of everyday items, from plastic bags to shampoo bottles.

The longer the polyethylene chain, the stronger it is. In the case of Dyneema®, a chain typically contains about 100,000 individual carbon atoms (for comparison, in a plastic bag, chains of only around 10,000 atoms will do the job). Known as UHMWPE, our high-strength variant begins life as a fine UH powder.

Diamond Background

Our backward integration drives strength forward

Other UHMWPE manufacturers buy their raw polyethylene from a supplier, which means they can’t make changes to the molecular structure of the polymer.

Dyneema® is different. Unlike others, we deploy a backward integration approach; namely, using our own raw materials to make UHMWPE powder, so we can perform molecular engineering at the polymer stage. Our engineering expertise means we can increase the strength of our fiber, ensuring Dyneema® is quite simply the strongest synthetic fiber on the market.

From powder to fiber

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.

Diamond Background

Where science meets sustainability

Our scientific expertise is also the driving force behind our sustainability ambitions. It’s how we developed the first – and only – bio-based HMPE fiber on the market: bio-based Dyneema® fiber. And at the other end of the product life cycle, we’re committed to developing new science-based solutions for the responsible end-of-life management of Dyneema®, including chemical recycling for Circular Dyneema®.

Find out more
Diamond Background

Science never sleeps

The game-changing invention of Dyneema® in the 1967 set the stage for decades of scientific innovation and the development of more than 40 product innovation grades. And they all have one thing in common: unmatched strength.

Each grade has its own unique set of properties, whether that’s creep prevention, cut resistance, ballistic protection, or many more characteristics. 

But why stop there? The world around us is constantly evolving, which is why our technical centers and R&D facilities are working to overcome new problems faced by today’s customers and consumers. 

Ready to experience partnership with a difference? Get in touch with Dyneema® today.

Find out how we can work together to make your business stronger than ever.

Find out more

Explore more

The Dyneema® difference

We've engineered a portfolio of high-performance fibers, each designed to deliver highly specialized performance. 

Find out more
About us

Dyneema®, home to the world’s strongest fiber™, has been driving material innovation for more than 30 years.

Find out more
Inspired by Dyneema®

Discover where imagination meets innovation and the endless possibilities only made possible with Dyneema®.

Find out more