Kevlar is a para-aramid synthetic fibre that is used for a variety of purposes that include but is not limited to: clothing, accessories, equipment, cables, bulletproof vests, windsurfing sails and armour. It was invented by Stephanie Kwolek in 1971 in anticipation of a gasoline shortage. This manmade organic fibre is lightweight yet extremely strong with approximately five times the strength of steel on an equal-weight basis. Besides that, Kevlar also has a high chemical resistance, high cut resistance and is flame resistant.
Kevlar is formed by the reaction of 1,4-phenylene-diamine (para-phenylenediamine) with terephthaloyl chloride. The other product of this condensation reaction is hydrochloric acid [HCl], though it is considered a by-product. The chemical reaction can be represented as follows:
The structural formula of Kevlar is [-CO-C6H4-CO-NH-C6H4-NH-]n. The molecular structure of Kevlar can be represented as follows:
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