KWOLEK, Stephanie, Dutch/American chemist, 1923-2014. The inventor of Kevlar, polyamide fibres, stronger than steel and thus used in bullet-proof vests. Kevlar was invented whilst working in research at DuPont Corporation from 1964-73. These liquid crystalline polymer materials are 5 times stronger than steel, but weigh less than half that of glass. Used extensively by the US government from 1969, but then became more widely available from 1973. Kevlar is also now used in aircraft construction, golf clubs, tennis racquets and other sports equipment. Stephanie is one of four women in the Hall of Inventors Fame, inducted in 1995.
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