From Bulletproof Vests to Motorcycle Gear: The Fascinating Story of Kevlar

From Bulletproof Vests to Motorcycle Gear: The Fascinating Story of Kevlar

Kevlar is a well-known material used for various protective gear, including body armor, helmets, and motorcycle gear. However, Kevlar is not the only aramid material used for these purposes. In this article, we will discuss the history of Kevlar, how it worked its way into the motorcycle industry, and why NBT Clothing uses aramid lining.


The History of Kevlar


Kevlar was invented by Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist at DuPont, in 1965. Kwolek was trying to develop a lightweight fiber that could replace steel in tires. She and her team discovered a polymer that had incredible strength and durability, and they named it Kevlar. Kevlar is a type of aramid fiber, which is a class of synthetic polymers with rigid chains and high strength-to-weight ratios.



Initially, Kevlar was used in the aerospace industry for its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. It was used in the construction of various parts of airplanes, including the wings and fuselage. Kevlar's properties also made it ideal for use in body armor, and it quickly became the material of choice for police and military personnel.


How Kevlar Made Its Way into the Motorcycle Industry


The motorcycle industry recognized the potential benefits of Kevlar, particularly in the realm of protective gear. Traditional leather gear was the norm, but it didn't provide adequate protection against abrasion and impact. As motorcycles became more powerful and riders pushed the limits, the need for better protection grew.


In the 1980s, the first Kevlar-lined motorcycle jackets hit the market. These jackets provided significantly better protection than traditional leather jackets, and they quickly gained popularity among riders. Kevlar gloves and pants followed soon after, and the motorcycle industry has never looked back.


One of the biggest advantages of Kevlar is its incredible strength and durability. It is five times stronger than steel and is highly resistant to cuts, abrasions, and impact. Kevlar is also incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for use in motorcycle gear.


Another advantage of Kevlar is its versatility. It can be used in various forms, including woven fabric, mesh, and as a lining material. This versatility lends to creating gear that is both protective and comfortable.


What Is Aramid?


Kevlar is a type of aramid fiber. There are several types of aramid fibers, including Kevlar, Twaron, and Nomex. These fibers are used in various applications, including protective gear, aerospace, and industrial applications.


Twaron is another aramid fiber that is used in protective gear. It was developed by Teijin Aramid in the 1970s and is similar to Kevlar in terms of strength and durability. Twaron is commonly used in body armor, helmets, and motorcycle gear.


Nomex is another aramid fiber that is used for protective clothing. It was developed by DuPont in the 1960s and is used in applications where heat and flame resistance are required. Nomex is commonly used in firefighter gear, racing suits, and other applications where high heat is a concern.


Why NBT Clothing Uses Aramid Lining


Using aramid in the protective gear was an obvious choice for NBT Clothing which specializes in motowear that’s reliable, comfortable and lightweight. With the same tech as Kevlar (a brand of aramid), NBT has developed a unique combination of aramid fibers called TensileTough™ which is incorporated into their Free Ridin’ Flannel, License to Ride Aramid Pants, Bodyguard Pullover Hoodie, and gloves to provide riders with superior protection against abrasion and impact.  


Aramid lining provides excellent abrasion resistance and is highly durable. It is also lightweight and comfortable, making it ideal for use in motorcycle gear.




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