DuPont's $500-million Cooper River Kevlar facility near Charleston, S.C. is up and running and will allow DuPont to meet increased customer demand for advanced protective materials. According to the Wilmington, Del-based company, overall global production capacity for Kevlar will increase initially by 25% and is expected to grow by 40%, with planned productivity improvements and continued technology developments over the next two years at all sites where DuPont manufactures Kevlar.
Along with a recent $50-million expansion at DuPont's Spruance plant in Richmond, Va., Cooper River represents the largest single investment in Kevlar and the largest capacity increase since the fiber was introduced in 1965. DuPont also manufactures Kevlar in Richmond, Va.; Maydown, Northern Ireland and at a DuPont joint venture, DuPont-Toray Company in Tokai, Japan.
The Cooper River Kevlar plant will initially produce grades that support three primary technology platforms: DuPont Kevlar AP, DuPont Kevlar KM2 Plus and DuPont Kevlar XP for growing applications in ballistics, other personal protective equipment, aerospace, tires, fiber optic cables, oil and gas and automotive.
"This significant boost in production capacity and capability demonstrates DuPont's continuing commitment to support our customers and to find solutions that help protect more people around the world," says Thomas G. Powell, president, DuPont Protection Technologies.