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History Of Chemistry Essay

1029 words - 5 pages

At this very moment armed forces are fighting for our freedom overseas. These brave soldiers go out everyday risking their lives for us. This is not a safe job numerous incidents bring these people to harm, but there is a way that chemistry has helped protect those at war. This is by the invention of the bulletproof vest. This vest can stop bullets from entering someone’s body with only leaving bruises behind. Somewhere else in the world a fire is burning down a house with people inside. Firefighters will be called to put out the fire and help these innocent people. The equipment they wear helps protect them from serious burns and injuries allowing them to do their job. The bulletproof vest and firefighters uniform cannot be made unless made with a material called Kevlar. Kevlar is an invention used in everyday life. It has been manufactured in gloves, clothing, bicycle helmets, batting gloves, facemasks, canoes, kayaks, golf clubs; the list goes on and on. Kevlar in my mind is important not only in recreational use, but also in the protection of loved ones keeping us safe from harm. Without using chemistry Kevlar would have never been invented, leaving the world a much sadder place. Let us further enrich our minds about a little piece of chemistry that would change the way we live our lives.
Before the invention of the bulletproof vest the only real protection available against firearms were walls or natural barriers such as rocks, trees, and ditches. People could not just run straight into a fight as seen today. They would have to cower away from their enemy or die. Today we see just the opposite. The first bulletproof vest was made in the United States was of silk material. The project came to attention after the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. The vests were effective against low-velocity bullets, but not against the new generation of ammunition. This, along with the high price of the silk material made the new invention hard to manufacture. The next type of bulletproof vest was used during World War II with ballistic nylon the vest was known as a flack jacket. The flak jacket provided protection primarily from ammunitions fragments and was ineffective against most pistol and rifle threats. Flak jackets were also very bulky. Bulletproof vests have come a long way since their silk and flak days. Developed at DuPont in 1965, the high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires. In the late 1970s it was discovered that Kevlar would make a good material for body armor. Kevlar soon became manufactured. Kevlar soon became used in body armor all over the world and is still seen being used today.
Kevlar is constructed of manmade fibers known as aramids. It belongs to a class of polymers. The polymers work just like gauze, but at a microscopic level. The basic unit of a polymer is a chain. Each one of the chains is made of millions of “monomers” that are linked to each...

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