The Info List - Zylon

--- Advertisement ---

(IUPAC name: poly(p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole)) is a trademarked name for a range of thermoset liquid-crystalline polyoxazole. This synthetic polymer material was invented and developed by SRI International
SRI International
in the 1980s and is manufactured by the Toyobo
Corporation.[1] In generic usage, the fiber is referred to as PBO.[2] Zylon
has 5.8 GPa of tensile strength,[3] which is 1.6 times that of Kevlar. Additionally Zylon
has a high Young's modulus
Young's modulus
of 270 GPa, meaning that it is very stiff. Like Kevlar, Zylon
is used in a number of applications that require very high strength with excellent thermal stability. Tennis
racquets, table-tennis blades, snowboards, various medical applications, and some of the Martian rovers are some of the better-known instances.


1 Usage

1.1 Body armor 1.2 Space elevator research 1.3 High-altitude balloon science 1.4 Motorsport 1.5 Standing rigging 1.6 Conductive textile 1.7 Structural Rehabilitation

2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Usage[edit] Body armor[edit] Zylon
gained wide use in U.S. police officers body armor protection in 1998 with its introduction by Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. But protective vests constructed with Zylon
became controversial in late 2003 when Oceanside, CA Police Officer Tony Zeppetella's and Forest Hills, PA Police Officer Ed Limbacher's vests failed, leaving Zeppetella mortally wounded and Limbacher seriously injured. Some studies subsequently reported that the Zylon
vests may degrade rapidly,[4] leaving wearers with significantly less protection than expected. Second Chance eventually recalled all of its zylon-containing vests, which led to its subsequent bankruptcy. In early 2005, Armor Holdings, Inc.
Armor Holdings, Inc.
first recalled its existing Zylon-based products, and decreased the rated lifespan warranty of new vests from 60 months to 30 months.[5] In August 2005, AHI decided to discontinue manufacturing all of its Zylon-containing vests. This was largely based on the actions of the U.S. government's National Institute of Justice, which decertified Zylon
for use in its approved models of ballistic vests for law enforcement. [6] Space elevator research[edit] A competition was held in the Wirefly X Prize Cup
Wirefly X Prize Cup
in Las Cruces, New Mexico, US, on October 20–21, 2006. A team from the University of British Columbia entered into the Tether Challenge, using a construction made from Zylon
fibers. The house tether used by Spaceward, that the other teams would have to beat in strength by 50% in the 2007 Spaceward games,[7] was made of Zylon. High-altitude balloon science[edit] Zylon
is used by NASA in long-duration, high-altitude data collection. Braided Zylon
strands maintain the structure of polyethylene superpressure balloons. Zylon
is the material of choice due to its low weight, high tensile strength, and thermal properties.[citation needed][8] Motorsport[edit] As has been the case since 2001, Zylon
tethers are used in Formula One to affix the wheel to the chassis thus preventing the wheel from ejecting in to a crowded area in the event of an accident which causes the wheel to become airborne. Starting in the 2007 season, the driver's cockpit must now be clad in special anti-penetration panels made of Zylon.[9] In 2011, a Zylon
strip was introduced to reinforce the top of the racing helmet visor[10] and provide an overlap between the visor and helmet for additional protection after Felipe Massa's 2009 injury. The Indy Racing League
Indy Racing League
began using Zylon
in 2008.[11] Standing rigging[edit] On modern racing yachts Zylon
is used for parts of the standing rigging. It is used as shrouds and stays. The PBO (polybenzoxazole) fiber is degraded by UV and visible light, seawater and chafing, and is therefore protected by a synthetic melted-on jacket. It is claimed to be 65% lighter than traditional rigging at 110–130% of the price of rodrigging.[12] Based on laboratory tests, superior durability is also claimed. Conductive textile[edit] Zylon
has been incorporated as the base fiber for some conductive textiles, where the Zylon
fiber is plated with nickel, copper, silver, or gold. The conductive fiber is used for electronic textiles, EMI shielding in woven or knit sheets, or as a braid over wires, and for signal transmission or current conduction. This conductive fiber combines the advantages of Zylon
(strength, resistance to high temperatures, durability, light weight, etc.) with the electrical properties of various metals. The conductive yarns can be sewn, braided, knit, or simply insulated like a bare wire.[13] Structural Rehabilitation[edit] PBO is the strongest and stiffest of commercially available fibers used to repair and strengthen concrete and masonry structures in externally bonded composite systems.[14] In this system, the fibers are produced in the form of a fabric mesh, and a cementitious mortar matrix bonds this to an existing structure. See also[edit]

Synthetic fibers Aramid

Kevlar Technora Twaron

Dyneema Vectran


^ Nielson, Donald (2006). A Heritage of Innovation: SRI's First Half Century. Menlo Park, California: SRI International. pp. 11–7–11–10. ISBN 978-0974520810.  ^ Abegaz, Adane Z. (2013-12-18). Advanced Fiber
Reinforced Composites as Confining Systems for RC Columns (Thesis). University of Miami Scholarly Repository. p. 7.  ^ Toyobo
Co.,Ltd. "Zylon® (PBO fiber)" (free download PDF) (Technical Information).  ^ "Zylon". Policeone.com. Retrieved 2014-03-20.  ^ http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1094191447239200.xml ^ https://www.nij.gov/journals/254/pages/body_armor.aspx ^ Little, Brian. "Spaceward Games 2007 GeekDad". Wired.com. Retrieved 2014-03-20.  ^ Said, M.A.; Dingwall, Brenda; Gupta, A.; Seyam, A.M.; Mock, G.; Theyson, T. (December 2006). "Investigation of ultra violet (UV) resistance for high strength fibers". Advances in Space Research. Elsevier Ltd. 37 (11). doi:10.1016/j.asr.2005.04.098. Retrieved 2016-04-13.  ^ Formula One
Formula One
press release. "FIA Rules & Regulations Sporting Regulations 2007". Archived from the original on 2007-01-26. Retrieved 2007-01-29.  ^ "Super Visor - Formula One
Formula One
helmets become even safer". Formula1.com. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2011-03-30.  ^ "Indy-Car Upgrades Planned For 2008, '09". AutoWeek.com. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2007-09-17.  ^ "powerliterigging.com". powerliterigging.com. Retrieved 2014-03-20.  ^ "Metal Clad Fiber
- AmberStrand® Fiber". metalcladfibers.com. Retrieved 2017-06-15.  ^ Tumialan, Gustavo; De Luca, Antonio (Sep 2014). "FRCM Systems". Structure Magazine. 

External links[edit]

manufacturer Toyobo Zylon
in body armor

v t e




Abacá Bagasse Bamboo Coir Cotton Fique Flax


Hemp Jute Kapok Kenaf Piña Pine Raffia Ramie Rattan Sisal Wood


Alpaca Angora Byssus Camel hair Cashmere Catgut Chiengora Guanaco Hair Llama Mohair Pashmina Qiviut Rabbit Silk Tendon Spider silk Wool Vicuña Yak





Art silk


Acetate Diacetate Lyocell Modal Rayon Triacetate



Glass Carbon


Basalt Metallic


Acrylic Aramid

Twaron Kevlar Technora Nomex

Microfiber Modacrylic Nylon Olefin Polyester Polyethylene

Dyneema Spectra

Spandex Vinylon Vinyon Zylon