“This increase is in addition to the 50% increase we already announced earlier this year following the completion of our new manufacturing facility in Aiken, South Carolina,” says Drew Walker, AGY Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We have already shipped a record amount of S-2 Glass fibre products in 2008, far exceeding previous records set in 2005, 2006 and 2007.”
S-2 Glass is used in composite armour systems for vehicles such as the High-Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) and the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles.
The high demand is due to current programmes for providing US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan with armoured vehicles giving protection against roadside bombs, improvised explosive devices and explosively formed projectiles.
The S-2 Glass products, which first hit the market in 1968, offer a tensile strength exceeding standard-modulus carbon fibre and most grades of aramid fibre, according to AGY. Its strain-to-failure capability of 5.7% compared to aramid’s 2.8% and carbon’s 1.5%, improves its ability to withstand ballistic and other types of impact. The products are compatible with epoxies, polyesters, vinyl esters, rubber and several thermoplastic resins.