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Kevlar 'wallpaper' boosts blast resistance

BOMB RESISTANT kevlar 'wallpaper' is set to revolutionise the blast protection of structures, it was claimed last week.

Tests in the USA have shown that when hung like wallpaper on structural masonry walls, the kevlar material can actually save bomb-damaged buildings from collapse.

Developed by Du Pont, the material is claimed to increase the blast resistance of masonry walls by up to 10 times. 'The kevlar holds the wall together, ' said Du Pont research associate Dr Karl Chang.

The material is applied to both sides of blast threatened masonry walls. This allows the kevlar to take the tensile strains in the wall from both the initial blast and subsequent rebound which would otherwise fracture mortar bonds and cause the wall to collapse.

Du Pont hopes to market the material in petrochemical and nuclear plants where gas explosions are a risk. But government and military buildings which are threatened by terrorist bombs should also benefit.

The material is a development of the kevlar bridge wrap material first used in the US and Japan to protect against vehicle impact and earthquake damage (NCE 20 August 1998).

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