Coated Kevlar Stops Bullets—and Microbes

October 1, 2008

1 Min Read
Coated Kevlar Stops Bullets—and Microbes


A polymer-coated Kevlar is able to fend off microbes including viruses, fungi, and bacteria. The fabric could be critical for medical emergency workers who use Kevlar vests in high-risk situations.

Researchers from the biomedical engineering program at the University of South Dakota (Sioux Falls, SD) applied polymethacrylamide (PMAA) to the surfaces of Kevlar fabrics.

The researchers used an in situ polymerization method to provide methacrylamide (MAA) within coating polymer binders. When treated with chlorine bleach, the amide groups of the coated PMAA side chains were transformed into stable acyclic N-halamines.

According to the study, published in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, the resultant fabric materials provided potent, durable, and rechargeable biocidal activities against several microbes. These microbes include E. coli (gram-­negative bacteria), S. aureus (gram-positive bacteria), C. tropicalis (fungi), MS2 virus, and Bacillus subtilis spores. The researchers report that thermal and mechanical properties of the original Kevlar fabrics were retained after the coating treatment.

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