Alcoa and DuPont Collaborate on Hurricane-Resistant Architectural Panels

14 June 2006

Alcoa and DuPont have collaborated to develop a new fibre-reinforced product for the commercial building and construction market that provides protection against the damage of hurricane wind-borne debris.

The two companies have joined forces to introduce a new product that incorporates both companies' strength in materials technology, by introducing a thin layer of Kevlar fabric between the aluminum skins and polyethylene core.

Called Reynobond with Kevlar, it is designed to withstand wind-borne debris and wind speeds common in hurricanes up to a Category 3 storm, with wind speeds up to 130 mph. Alcoa say that Reynobond made with Kevlar brand fibre acts as a safety net by helping to protect the facades of buildings from hurricane-propelled debris, frequently the main cause of hurricane damage.

""Partnering with DuPont provided Alcoa the opportunity to enhance our lightweight, widely used Reynobond aluminum composite material to a new level of usage by inserting DuPont's ultra strong Kevlar fabric into the architectural panel,"" said Eric Bassel, President of Alcoa Architectural Products.

""This market-driven collaboration between two well-known technology and industrial leaders was essential in enabling the successful launch of this new, multi-material product. Deep fundamental knowledge of their respective materials and close collaboration on interface performance were key in developing this unique product,"" said Alcoa Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Mohammad Zaidi.

""Because threats to people's livelihood are dynamic and evolving, we continue to put DuPont science to work - in this instance, collaborating with Alcoa on an innovative new product that helps protect people, property and business operations,"" said William J. Harvey, vice president and general manager, DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems. ""Through this science-based collaboration, DuPont and Alcoa combined their extensive expertise, product knowledge and market experience to accelerate the design-to-market process.""

Alcoa has successfully tested panels of Reynobond with Kevlar that have passed rigorous simulated hurricane impact tests conducted by Hurricane Test Laboratory, LLC in Florida, including the ""large missile impact test,"" involving a 9-pound 2X4 timber traveling at 50 feet per second, as stipulated by the Miami-Dade Building Code.

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