Unrivaled ballistic protection with Dyneema® UD material

When you need an extra level of security, hard body armor inserts and ballistic shields are a combat operator’s best friend. But top-class protection is only one aspect of survival – personnel also need protective gear that allows for swift movement in the combat zone. 

That’s where vest armor inserts and shields made with Dyneema® unidirectional (UD) material fit into the picture. Made from a fiber that’s light enough to float on water, our material enables greater maneuverability and stamina, better decision-making – and, ultimately, superior mission performance. All while outperforming every other material in ballistic stopping power.

Dyneema® enables STRENGTHplus+

In a combat zone, operators need more than just security against ballistic threats – they also need to move fast and think even faster. And that’s where the lightness of armor solutions made with Dyneema® gives wearers a tactical edge.

75%

lighter than steel

25%

lighter than aramid

15x

stronger than steel

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Diamond Background

How do we make Dyneema® UD armor inserts and ballistic shields?

We start by using molecular engineering to create Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™. Our cutting-edge method involves disentangling polyethylene molecules using our proprietary gel spinning process, heating and stretching the continuous filaments, then spinning these filaments into ultra-strong fibers.

To manufacture Dyneema® UD, we lay the fibers in a crisscross pattern at 0 and 90 degrees, with the rotated layers allowing for even and rapid distribution of energy. The result is an indestructible, UD laminate material – one that’s used in the strongest, lightest, and most comfortable body armor in the world. As a final step, we heat and compress layers of sheets of Dyneema® UD to produce hard body armor inserts or ballistic shields.

For when the going gets tough

Trusted by elite armed forces the world over, Dyneema® UD is where light meets might.

Designed to capture and deform pistol or rifle bullets, it increases the level of protection by absorbing and distributing the force of the impact, allowing combat operators to stay in the fight – even against heavily armed opponents.

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Protection against Kalashnikov fire without need for additional ceramic plates

Protection against rifle AP bullets in combination with ceramic plates

Lowest weight against threats

A proven history of combat effectiveness

Excellent multiple-hit and close-to-edge performance

Energy absorption for minimal deformation of armor’s back side upon impact

Lightweight ability is survivability

In the US Army, ground troops carry up to 140 pounds of combat gear, including personal protective equipment weighing an average of 27 pounds. While this gear is vital for survival, increased weights from heavy loads have a negative impact on soldier performance. Reduced mobility is one for reason for this, but it’s not the whole story: heavy loads also decrease situational awareness, as well as tactical and cognitive performance on the battlefield.

Because every pound counts in a kinetic situation, lightweight, ergonomic armor is an indispensable asset for modern military and law enforcement personnel. With lightness and comfort on their side, units can enhance their survivability and mission success – and do their duty better than ever.

 

Protecting body and planet

Security isn’t just about protection from immediate threats; defending the planet for future generations is an equally important mission. That’s why we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint in every aspect of our business and delivering end-to-end sustainability for Dyneema® products.  

To achieve this goal, we take responsible decisions at every stage of our products’ life cycles, from sourcing to manufacturing, use, and end of life.

Here are just a few examples of end-to-end sustainability

Sourcing

Some products are available with bio-based Dyneema® fiber, offering the exact same performance and specifications with a 90% lower carbon footprint than generic HMPE fiber.

Manufacturing

100% of the electricity used in our manufacturing comes from renewable sources. 

Usage

The unique chemical properties of Dyneema® extend the life cycle of end products and reduce material usage over time.

End-of-Life

We work with our customers to establish collection points for end-of-life products, ensuring they’re disposed of responsibly without resorting to incineration or landfills.

The history of Dyneema®

Since the discovery of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) in 1967, we’ve been on a journey of innovation to bring the benefits of Dyneema® to military and law enforcement personnel.

1990

First commercialization of Dyneema®

1993

Dyneema® enters the ballistics market with the first production of Dyneema® UD

2013

Dyneema® introduces Force Multiplier Technology that enables off-the-charts V50 performance

2023

Launch of Dyneema® next-generation UD

The material of choice for elite armed forces

The world’s leading armed forces and law enforcement agencies place their trust in Dyneema®. And why wouldn’t they, when it offers unmatched protection plus enhanced combat effectiveness?

 Law enforcement agencies include:

  • New York Police Department

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

  • Chicago Police Department

  • Washington DC Metro

  • Baltimore City Police

  • Virginia State Police

US armed forces applications include:

  • US Marine Corps Plate Carrier Generation III; Enhanced Combat Helmet; V-22 Osprey

  • US Army Modular Scalable Vest Generation II; Integrated Head Protection System; Soldier Protection System

  • US Military Joint Tactical Vehicle

  • US Navy Mark VI Patrol Boat

  • Advanced Bomb Suit

Almost all NATO member states use Dyneema®, including:

  • Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Türkiye, UK, USA

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Putting Dyneema® UD to the test

Hard body armor and ballistic shields made using Dyneema® UD have been subjected to rigorous, state-of-the-art ballistic tests across three continents. We test the performance of Dyneema® at the fiber, UD, and application level, manufacturing armor panels and measuring their ballistic resistance of the article against a wide range of variables and ballistic threats.

Ballistic performance tests – multi ammunition

Our tests confirm the outstanding anti-ballistic capabilities of Dyneema® materials and their stopping capabilities against a wide range of threats – such as small fragments, mild steel-core rifle projectiles, and armor-piercing rounds in composites that include a ceramic strike face. In turn, we use the results to provide tailored solutions for our customers.

Backface deformation tests

At our ballistic laboratories, we’re able to test the level of damage sustained by the back side of armor upon impact. The result? Thanks to the high energy absorption and distribution of Dyneema® materials, our solutions meet and exceed US and international standards on backface deformation.

Multiple environment simulations

Wherever your personnel are operating, they can rely on Dyneema®. Our labs are equipped with conditioning chambers where we test the performance of Dyneema® materials in simulated extreme environment conditions.

Accelerated ageing tests – heat and humidity

To guarantee stable ballistic performance over time, our accelerated ageing tests simulate multiple years of real-time ageing, including in high temperatures and extreme humidity conditions. All Dyneema® materials show stable performance in these tests – ensuring a unique combination of strength plus durability.

Tumbling tests

Dyneema® is used in multiple solutions certified by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) – so we make sure Dyneema® fulfils every NIJ requirement, including its tumbling protocol. Thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment, we can perform tumbling tests before entering the certification process.

Contact our sales team

Selecting the right hard armor inserts or ballistic shields for your operational needs is a big decision. If you’re a law enforcement agency or defense ministry looking for a bespoke presentation, get in touch.

Contact us
  • Purchasing for your law enforcement agency
  • Threat mitigation advice
  • Law enforcement agency presentation days
  • Striking the right balance between mobility and protection


Meeting – and exceeding – international certification standards

Ballistic vests inserts and shields made with Dyneema® UD are tested according to a variety of requirements across different countries, including the NIJ certification in the USA. In all these tests, we ensure that Dyneema® UD armor and shields meet and surpass certification standards, and we’re recognized as offering the lightest body armor solution for both soft and hard armor applications.

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With our multiple manufacturing sites, protection is never far away

Dyneema® UD is manufactured in both the USA and Europe, with both territories using strategically resilient supply chains to keep production close to home.   

For the US market, Dyneema® is manufactured exclusively at our facility in Greenville, NC – a site that employs more than 400 US workers, of which 10% are military veterans. In addition, our Technical Service Center in Stanley, NC, supports US-based body armor manufacturers in next-generation product development. With these two US facilities, we ensure quality, consistency, and security of supply for our American customers, as well as no dependence on foreign materials, no disruption due to supply chain issues, and consistency and quality in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, our presence in Heerlen, the Netherlands, means we can deliver equivalent supply assurances for our European customers, with no change to our commitment to quality and reliability.

 

Design with Dyneema®

Do you design or develop hard armor inserts or ballistic shields? Or maybe you’d like to test what Dyneema® UD has to offer? Our team would love to work with you to develop your ideal performance solutions, using our Dyneema® portfolio.

Design with Dyneema®

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In defense applications, protection is paramount. That’s why the world’s elite forces rely on the strength of Dyneema®.

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