DuPont is partnering with a start-up company called Luminati Aerospace to design body armor fabrics that weigh a fraction of current products.
Luminati, based in Calverton, New York, was launched to manufacture solar-powered aircraft and then unmanned drones that can fly 60,000 feet or higher and provide aerial internet service for an estimated 4 billion people worldwide. The company successfully tested one of its solar-powered aircrafts last year.
For this agreement, Luminati will blend its composite fabric technology with DuPont’s Kevlar aramid fibers to design the new technology that will be presented for the Defense Department next month. The new material will use Luminati’s approach of spreading yarn into single-filament tapes that create nonwoven fabrics with up to 80 layers. In the end, this creates a fabric that is just as sturdy but at least half as heavy.
“Luminati’s technology is a highly unique method of generating 3D ultra-thin-ply textile structures,” Karl Chang, DuPont ballistics applications development scientist, said in a statement.
The companies did not disclose any financial terms of the deal.