ARMALITH is the first composite fabric enabling the manufacture of garments.
It’s a composite material, but contrary to a surf or an airplane wing, ARMALITH is flexible, soft, hydrophilic, light and dyed with a beautiful indigo color that will fade with time…
Composite fabric means technically that the engineer can choose the reinforcement material (here UHMWPE) regardless from the matrix composite (here cotton).
Many patents have been registered regarding fabric architecture and therefore allow endless options for fabric combinations. Why UHMWPE then?
UHMWPE is the lightest of all performance fibers. Its density (0.95) enables the fabric to float while other material’s density is over 1.6. Steel represents a density of 7.
UHMWPE has unique properties; it is strong and resistant enough to be used in bulletproof jackets (previously manufactured from KEVLAR), in mooring lines for offshore platforms (made from steel in the past), military armors, or spacecraft tether…
Understanding the mechanics of abrasion and what contributes to abrasion resistance in concrete is hard. In general, materials having a good resistance to compression perform better. For protection gloves in workwear industry, standards have been created in order to compare different materials (check bar chart). UHMWPE is from far the best material compared to other fibers or even leather.
High-performance fabrics do have their weaknesses. For example, long exposure to ultraviolet rays will cause loss of performances in KEVLAR fibers. This phenomenon will be emphasized if the moisture level went up. Shall we put our trust in a fiber – originally developed for our protection – if it loses its properties when exposed to the sun or during washing processes? UHMWPE provides 0% moisture retention. Therefore the fiber keeps its performances despite UV exposures, sweat and cleaning cycles.