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Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute. The name is derived from “aromatic polyamide”. In the 1960s–1970s, DuPont and Akzo Nobel developed a para-aramid fiber with much higher tenacity and elastic modulus. This led to DuPont introducing Kevlar in 1973 when it was first commercially used as a replacement for steel in racing tires. A similar fiber called Twaron with roughly the same chemical structure was introduced by Akzo in 1978. Twaron is now manufactured by Teijin. The bright golden yellow filaments produced can have a range of properties, but all have high strength and low density giving very high specific strength. All grades have good resistance to impact, and lower modulus grades are used extensively in ballistic applications. Compressive strength, however, is only similar to that of E-glass. As well as the high strength properties, the fibres also offer good resistance to abrasion, and chemical and thermal degradation. However, the fibre can degrade slowly when exposed to ultraviolet light.

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