The Taiwan-Release-Only Limited Edition SC14 Dyneema® Backpack
Rome wasn't built in a day,
What exactly is Dyneema?
It’s easy to feel puzzled looking at the praising claims of Dyneema – strongest? lightest? most versatile? Worry not, when we got our hands on our first piece of Dyneema fabric, we felt the same way (and we've got a lot of fabric on our hands, trust me.) If you think about it, Dyneema is not a thing of fiction, it is the product of real hard science. And that means the claims of it being stronger than steel while still remaining flexible as cloth are backed up with data. But, if the stuff isn’t magic, then what, exactly, is it?
The answer is Ultra High Molecular weight Polyethylene (UHMwPE) – this is the technical term for what is commonly known as Dyneema. Unfortunately, as descriptive as it might seem, the terminology does little to actually expound upon of what the material is made from.
Dyneema is a thermoplastic polyethylene, meaning that, while it actually falls under the umbrella of plastic, it is pliable and moldable above a certain temperature and solidifies upon cooling – much in the same way that metals do. It differs from metal, yet does not necessarily become rigid and brittle after cooling down. Rather, it retains a measure of pliability, similar to common textiles. That particular combination of factors means that, while the material is extremely flexible, it’s also incredibly strong – with some claims putting it at around 15 times stronger than steel of a similar thickness.
It also has other chemical properties that put it head and shoulders above other competing materials. For instance, Dyneema is resistant to many corrosive chemicals, is extremely resistant to abrasion, and has an exceedingly low rate of moisture absorption – putting it squarely in the realm of waterproof fabric.While the material is extremely flexible, it’s also incredibly strong. And while things like nylon share many of those same characteristics, Dyneema performs better in all categories across the board.
Dyneema is also formed from fibers, at its basest physically-observable level. For reference, a fiber is defined as “a thread or filament from which a vegetable tissue, mineral substance, or textile is formed. These fibers are what allow the material to be turned into strands and, then, woven together to create fabrics – which can be made entirely from Dyneema or intertwined with other types of fabrics to imbue the new material with a lot of the properties that make Dyneema so special. Combination fabrics, like that used in denim jeans that use Dyneema in their construction are not going to be as strong as Dyneema alone, but they do greatly benefit from the addition.
Learn more about the fabric's applications on DSM's official website here.
Shop our DYNEEMA® constructed products here.