MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - It's been proven to protect people. It's used in cars, trucks, and plane tires, and it's used in broadband connections. We're getting a very first look at the material used in all of these items, known as Kevlar. Parent Corporation DuPont has opened the Cooper River Kevlar facility on Cypress Gardens Road in Moncks Corner.
After a process including mixing, spinning, and winding, engineers came up with a spooled fiber material, but it's been a life changing product.
"Kevlar is best known for its use in ballistic and stab resistant body armor, and it's helped save the life of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel around the world," DuPont President of Protective Technologies Tom Powell said.
From bullet proof vests, helmets, tires, cables, and even garden gloves, Kevlar may have been used in items that you've used before. The Cooper River Kevlar facility opened its doors after more than three years of construction. Corporate leaders say in addition to production, they hope to advance the technology.
"It's a very proud feeling. We pioneered Kevlar over 40 years ago. Every year we continue to advance the technology, the manufacturing process technology, the application of Kevlar into different kinds of utilizations," Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont, said.
The Kevlar plant is a $500 million investment in South Carolina. It brought 800 construction jobs and 135 permanent jobs. Governor Nikki Haley says the facility is something all citizens can be thankful for.
"South Carolina has a great love for our law enforcement. We have a great respect for our military. And so to have a plant like this that we know goes the extra mile to save lives, that's now here in South Carolina. That's now something we can be proud of," Gov. Haley said.
Part of the reason parent company DuPont says it chose Moncks Corner for the Kevlar Plant is because it had an existing production facility at the same site. Corporate leaders say the existing DuPont facility has been successful.
DuPont has customers worldwide and production facilities worldwide. The Cooper River plant in Moncks Corner is the corporation's largest investment in manufacturing Kevlar worldwide.