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DuPont’s Nomex Flame-Resistant Fiber Turns 50

March 23, 2017
The company's flame-resistant fiber originally was introduced as a response to fiery race car crashes.

DuPont has announced a series of events and activities to mark the 50th anniversary of its Nomex heat- and flame-resistant fiber.

Throughout the year, a series of celebratory events and activities will be held to mark the milestone.

 “During the past 50 years, Nomex has helped keep people safe while they drilled beneath the earth’s core, rocketed to outer space and tackled countless other challenges that were once considered impossible,” said John Richard, DuPont Nomex global business director in a statement.  “We are certainly proud of what Nomex has made possible in the past, but we believe that the best is yet to come.”

Nomex brand fiber is a flame-resistant component in protective apparel. The deaths of numerous race car drivers in fiery crashes led to the development of Nomex in the mid-1960s.

After Paul Morgan and Stephanie Kwolek conducted initial research and development work, Wilfred Sweeny led the product creation of Nomex. The fiber first was tested in racing suits in 1966 before being introduced in woven and nonwoven forms in 1967.

Today, DuPont estimates more than 3 million firefighters around the world are protected by turnout gear, stationwear and accessories made of Nomex. The fiber also is used in apparel worn by military pilots and combat vehicle crew, auto racing drivers; pit crew members and track officials and industrial workers at risk from flash fire and electric arc hazards.

In aerospace applications, Nomex can be found from aircraft cabin floors, overhead bins and bulkheads to landing gear doors, engine nacelles and helicopter rotor blades. 

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