Last month, just days before the new school season, news about parents preparing for school days spread across the US. Now, you may wonder what’s new about the cliché as usually, it’s either about parents buying stationery or flooding social media with hilarious photos of excited parents and gloomy children. However, this time, there was one particular trend that grabbed the attention of parents all over, they were buying bullet-resistant backpacks! The reason behind it was no secret, with one shooting after another, concerns about school security had been growing for some time.
Talking about things being bulletproof, the first thing you would probably think about was a bulletproof vest or Batman's outfit. However, what you might not realize is that there are lots of products available to buy which are also bulletproof and they are all made from the same materials, Aramid Fiber or Kevlar.
1. What is Aramid Fiber?
Aramid (short for “aromatic polyamide”) fiber is the superstar family in the fiber world, a class of man-made strong synthetic fiber with high-performance characteristics. Unlike nylon, acrylic or other synthetic fibers which are very common in the clothing industry, the molecules that makeup aramid fiber are characterized by their relatively rigid polymer chains. These molecules are linked by strong hydrogen bonds that transfer mechanical stress very efficiently, making it possible to use chains of relatively low molecular weight. Aramid fiber can’t be dissolved in anything, so it took scientists and chemists some time to figure out how to utilize aramid fiber in manufacturing processes. Thanks to the discovery of lyotropic liquid crystalline, a new spinning process for the anisotropic solution was developed, which greatly improved the application of aramid fiber in manufacturing.
Aramid fiber shares some characteristics that distinguish them from other synthetic fibers. It has high strength, five times strong than steel; yet it’s incredibly lightweight. It’s extremely resistant to abrasion, organic solvents and large temperature changes (technically it has no melting point). Unlike Carbon Fiber, it is not conductive, which means it will not block Wi-Fi, GPS, or any other transmissible signals. To understand more about aramid fiber, why not check out one of our previous posts -- What are Aramid Fibers?(I) - The Introduction to A Versatile Material. Aramid fiber can be weaved and colored for all sorts of different patterns and thanks to improvements in manufacturing processes, there are a number of different ways to form aramid fibers into complex shapes through hardening, cutting and polishing.
2. The Application of Aramid Fiber as a Bulletproof Material
In the late 1960s, aramid fiber was first manufactured as a material for outer space exploitation and it became a crucial strategic resource, but it was barely known in the public sector. After the Cold War, this high-tech material started to be used in civilian areas and gradually it grabbed public attention. As an important military project material, aramid fiber is used by the US, UK and other developed countries to make bulletproof vests and helmets, and because they are much lighter, the mobilization capabilities of these armed forces have improved significantly. As time goes by, aramid fiber is used more and more to manufacture bulletproof products.
3. Everyday Products Made from Aramid Fiber
As technical manufacturing processes continue to evolve, aramid fiber has been utilized in many new civilian areas including car tires, flame-resistant clothing and lots of daily. In fact, you might well be using one of those items right now, but you never even realized.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
You will find a range of different briefcases available to buy, which are made from aramid fiber and not only keep you safe and protected but also to keep your paper documents from being damaged. They can be as stylish and fashionable as any other briefcase and often, even more practical.
There are lots of different styles and designs and If you don’t like the look of aramid fiber, which is similar to woven fabric, you can find some briefcases which have leather, plastic or cloth on the outside whilst the inside liner is made from aramid.
You’ve probably seen spy movies where the hero uses an umbrella to shield themselves from the bullets being fired at them. Well, amazingly, that’s not the stuff of fiction anymore as you can now buy bulletproof umbrellas. They look like any other normal umbrella, and you can take them anywhere without worrying about setting off the security checks. Oh, and bulletproof umbrellas will shield you from the wind and rain as well as bullets!
3) Bulletproof Clothing
As well as bulletproof vests, you can get an ever-increasing range of clothing which is made from aramid fiber. Right now, there are bulletproof hoodies, jackets, overcoats, to name but a few. You might think that this armored clothing is hard and stiff but not anymore, now it’s as soft and as comfortable as anything else you can buy.
If you are concerned about your safety, bulletproof clothing is perfect for you, not only can it be warm and comforting, but it can also be lifesaving too. If you are going after fashion, bulletproof clothing is not a bad choice, but the designs might be limited. The radical designs for the ever-changing world are shaping the future of fashion.
As early as the 1980s, bulletproof goggles were manufactured and used by the military. Nowadays goggles or sports sunglasses for men and women are available everywhere. This special material makes them highly resistant. You don’t need to worry that the glass might be struck by something and broken because that can’t happen. These sunglasses are not only bulletproof, but they also share the same characteristics as other sunglasses, namely, anti-ultraviolet, anti-glare and windproof.
Whether you are going to the beach or doing some dangerous pursuit, you will be the coolest one wearing bulletproof sunglasses.
5) Tennis/Badminton Rackets
Early rackets were made from wood or plastic, which often made them too heavy or too brittle. As the manufacturing processes improved, they were able to increase the range of materials that could be used to make rackets including aluminum, nylon as well as aramid fiber. Thanks to aramid fiber, rackets are lighter yet stiffer, and they are extremely durable.
If you are looking for a new tennis or badminton racket, you would be wise to choose the one that can last.
6) Phone Cases
The market is full of phone cases made from wood, silicone, plastic or carbon fiber. A phone case made from Kevlar was not possible until a few years go. It wasn’t because the technique was not there but because no one ever thought of using aramid fiber to make a phone case. Why not? Its woven fabric look is classic, it’s light and it blocks bullets. The primary purpose of a phone case is to protect your cell phone and if it’s made from aramid fiber, it not only protects your phone but also your life.
4. Aramid Fiber Minimalistic Phone Cases - PITAKA MagEZ Cases
PITAKA, the spearhead in Aramid fiber application, manufactures ground breaking phone cases. All PITAKA phone cases are 100% made from authentic aramid fiber which makes them super strong, even when hit by a bullet, the bullet energy will be absorbed.
That said, they are also as thin and as light as paper, when you put the PITAKA phone case on your phone, you will barely feel it there. PITAKA phone cases have a pleasant, non-slippery texture along with a soft coating created via a unique vacuum forming process. They are so easy and comfortable to hold that you won’t want to let go. In addition, PITAKA phone cases have an extra protective ring for your camera lens and since they are made from aramid fiber they will last forever.
On top of that, PITAKA MagEZ Cases are equipped with embedded metal plates that allow you to attach your phone to the PITAKA MagEZ Mount Qi without any of those ugly sticks on metals plates you might find elsewhere. They are also wireless charging friendly since the metal plates are specifically placed and aramid fibers do not interfere with your wireless charging signal.
5. Aramid Fiber Wireless Chargers - PITAKA Air Series
PITAKA has all kinds of wireless chargers made from aramid fiber as well. The Air Essential, the tri-coil embedded wireless charger with its unique guided design, perfectly fits the form of all phones regardless of their sizes. That’s a charger for charging one device at a time. If you need a charger for multiple devices, take a look at PITAKA 6 in 1 wireless charging dock--the Air Omni. This can charge your iPhone, iPad, apple watch and AirPods simultaneously. It’s an innovative and fashionable desk organizer. Another wireless charger that also contains a power bank is the AirPalPods, specifically designed for AirPods, but with the added advantage that it can also charge your iPhone or any other phone with a type C port. All these wireless chargers are very practical, very durable and beautiful to look at since they are made from aramid fiber, which wraps the product in a black and grey twill weave.
6. Aramid Fiber Cable--PITAKA Charging Cable
Aramid fiber is the core material for PITAKA product. You’ve seen aramid fiber phone case and wireless charger, now meet aramid fiber charging cable.
A charging cable has to be nonflammable, durable, and resistant to weather change, and aramid fiber is perfectly suited for this. Unlike the more common charging cables made of PVC or plastic, aramid fiber cable is more sustainable and far more exotic.
So, now you should have a pretty good idea about aramid fibers and the wide variety of products that are made from this fantastic material.
Although aramid fibers cannot be penetrated by bullets, it doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt if the bullets were to be flying all over the place, so stay away from anything like that, seriously stay away! Batman is a superhero and whilst Aramid Fibers are also super, we would advise you to keep clear from any baddies out there, don’t be a hero, be safe.
The best advice I can give is to take a close look at the range of PITAKA products made from Aramid Fiber, once you get a taste for the quality, the unique designs and the sheer brilliance of any of them, you will be hooked.