United States Congressman Mark Sanford of the First District recently took a tour of DuPont’s Cooper River Kevlar plant site and met with workers there to learn more about new applications for the fiber.
During the tour, Sanford learned about new applications for Kevlar fiber and met with the skilled workforce producing materials that go into a variety of applications around the world.
The tour was an opportunity to get to know everyone better, according to plant manager Jerry Good.
“Time with Rep. Sanford was time well spent,” he said. “He was interested in our operations, our employees, and how various regulatory and legislative issues affect our business here in South Carolina.”
Good, who also is president of the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity to tell the congressman about other issues affecting Berkeley County.
“Specifically, workforce development, need for increased natural gas supply to the region, and need for competitive electric rates,” he said. “All this will allow existing industry to be more competitive and allow us to attract more industry.”
Good added that it was nice for Sanford to see the plant in action.
“It gave us the opportunity to show him how Kevlar fiber, which goes into bulletproof vests and helmets, made right here in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is not only helping protect our soldiers, police and first responders, but it’s also used in planes and cars, protecting fiber optic cable and perhaps even protecting your new smart phone.”
The $500 million Kevlar addition to DuPont’s Cooper River plant opened in 2011 and has garnered awards for safety practices and consecutive safe hours during construction and operation without an accident producing Kevlar, which does more than just stop bullets.
Invented in 1965 by Stephanie Kwolek, Kevlar was originally designed to be used as a replacement for steel in tires.
Other uses for Kevlar include being woven into clothing such as firefighter turnout gear, police vests and gloves. Kevlar has also been used in mattresses, fiber optics, sports equipment, fiber optics and even as a patch on Mount Rushmore.