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Did you know? Insight - Stephanie KwolekPrinter-Friendly Format
Doug Engelbart
Thomas Fogarty
Ashok Gadgil
Stephanie Kwolek
Stephanie Kowlek Biography The most famous application of Kevlar is in bulletproof vests, which are made of layers of fabric woven from strands of the super-strong fiber. Patents In 1964, Stephanie Kwolek investigated a curious chemical solution in her DuPont lab; that polymer eventually became Kevlar, a fiber five times as strong as steel and lighter than fiberglass. Videos In its raw form, Kevlar is simply a fiber. The fibers are woven into textiles (like those used in body armor) or combined with other materials. Interview
Kevlar has found hundreds of applications, including strengthening the cables that hold up suspension bridges.

Kevlar has found hundreds of applications, including strengthening the cables that hold up suspension bridges.
The odd, cloudy batch of polymers that DuPont chemist Stephanie Kwolek mixed up in 1964 might have seemed like a mistake to another researcher. But she was more intrigued than disappointed, and continued to work with the chemicals. Her diligence paid off—that milky batch of chemicals led to the development of Kevlar, a super-strong, super-stiff fiber that has saved thousands of lives.

A deep curiosity and a love of discovery
"I'm very conscientious," Kwolek says. "And I discovered over the years that I seemed to see things that other people did not see. Also I love doing chemistry, and I love making discoveries. Generally, if things don't work out I don't just throw them out, I struggle over them, to try and see if there's something there . . . You have to be inquisitive about things. You have to have an open mind."
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Doug Engelbart Thomas Fogarty Ashok Gadgil Stephanie Kwolek Paul MacCready
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