Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar inventor, dies at 90

AP News
Posted: Jun 20, 2014 2:02 PM
Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar inventor, dies at 90

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A pioneering DuPont chemist who invented the tough fibers used in Kevlar body armor is being lauded for helping save the lives of thousands of law enforcement officers and soldiers.

Stephanie Kwolek died Wednesday at a hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. She was 90.

Kwolek's groundbreaking discovery came in 1965 while she was working on specialty textile fibers. She invented a liquid crystalline solution that could be spun into the synthetic fibers that were stronger than steel.

While Kevlar has become synonymous with body armor, it originally was developed for use in automobile tires. It has since become a component in products ranging from airplanes and armored military vehicles to cellphones and sailboats.