What is KEVLAR made of?


Kevlar is a synthetic (person-made) material known as a polymer. Some other common synthetic polymers include Nylon, Teflon, Lycra, and polyester. A polymer is a chain made of many similar molecular groups, known as monomers, that are bonded together. To get a better picture of this, imagine that you are looking at a long locomotive train. Each identical boxcar could represent a monomer and the whole train would represent the polymer chain.

A single Kevlar polymer chain could have anywhere from five to a million segments bonded together. Each Kevlar segment or monomer is a chemical unit that contains 14 carbon atoms, 2 nitrogen atoms, 2 oxygen atoms and 10 hydrogen atoms.

Chemists represent a Kevlar monomer like this:


Click here to do an activity about polymers:


CLUE #1: Kevlar is a long chain-like molecule known as a polymer. Why would a chain structure be important to strength? What other things can you find in your environment that are chain-like and strong?

Kevlar Introduction

Clue #2

Clue #3

Clue #4

Clue #5

Putting the Pieces Together


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