Kevlar is a para-aramid that is known the world over for its use in bullet and stab-resistant vests. In addition to this well-known use, Kevlar is used in many applications, including household ones. Here are some common ways that Kevlar are used in more common consumer applications.
Kevlar is sometimes used as a component material in high end speaker cones. High rigidity and a low mass are required of speaker cones to ensure sound quality. The addition of Kevlar into a speaker cone reduces the cone’s weight while increasing its rigidity, thereby improving the sound quality from the speaker. In addition to the improving sound quality, Kevlar’s temperature and humidity resistance allows speakers that integrate Kevlar to be used in hot and humid environments where standard paper cones may lose their shape and rigidity, thus impacting sound quality.
In addition to speaker cones, Kevlar has begun to be used in high-end consumer cameras. Leica has developed a version of its Q2 Reporter’s camera which is enveloped in a woven Kevlar composite material. This Kevlar composite protects the body of the camera from scratches and knocks that may otherwise cause damage to the camera.
Kevlar was originally envisaged as a replacement for the heavy and inefficient steel tyre reinforcements in anticipation of a fuel shortage. Now, Kevlar is regularly used in premium and durable tyres, which can extend tyre mileage to a significant extent, while reducing their weight and therefore fuel consumption.
Cycling enthusiasts can also benefit from Kevlar bicycle tyres; Kevlar can be used to reinforce bicycle tyres to prevent or reduce the likelihood of tyre punctures. The Kevlar is used as a lining between the outer rubber that contacts the ground and the internal structure of the tyre which maintains pressure. This lining reduces the probability that debris on a path could puncture the internal pressure tube. Kevlar can also be used in the portion of the tyre that contacts the rim of the wheel which is called the beading. Here it can replace the much heavier and less flexible steel that is normally used.
Kevlar is available in composite strings for string instruments, like violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. The inclusion of Kevlar in string instrument strings can result in a variety of benefits, like increased wear resistance in the strings, and an improved sound. It is claimed that the use of Kevlar increases the bass produced by the instrument, compared to one that excludes Kevlar.
In addition to improving the sound of string instruments, Kevlar has been used by percussion instruments, like drums. When used as the material of a drumhead, Kevlar reduces the amount that the drumhead stretches with repeated use, meaning that it does not require adjustment as frequently to keep the surface taught and the instrument in tune.
In addition to the well-known use of Kevlar in bullet-resistant clothing, Kevlar has a number of other uses in more consumer-friendly clothing, ranging from sports, to gardening, to motorcycle riding. Kevlar is used in a range of shoes, for running, football, and rugby; Puma uses Kevlar in some of its running shoes because it adds rigidity and support to its upper while maintaining a light weight. In some higher-end football boots Kevlar is used to protect the wearer from stray studs, while some rugby boots use Kevlar to stiffen the boot while maintaining the light weight.
Additionally, gardeners may benefit from Kevlar gardening gloves; the inclusion of Kevlar in the construction of a glove allows the wearer to protect themselves from painful thorns, as well as sharp gardening tools. Motorcyclists have also benefited from the inclusion of Kevlar in their attire; Kevlar is incorporated in plenty of motorcycle gear like trousers in order to reduce the likelihood that a rider will suffer from serious road rash if they fall off their motorcycle at speed.