Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Kevlar: An amide polymer synthesized by copolymerization of benzene-1,4-diamine and terephthaloyl dichloride. Kevlar has many uses but is perhaps best known for its use in bullet-resistant body armor.



Terephthaloyl dichloride

Kevlar is produced by copolymerization of monomers benzene-1,4-diamine and terephthaloyl dichloride (an acid chloride derived from terephthalic acid). Polymerization occurs by the nucleophilic carbonyl substitution mechanism.

Kevlar's strength is due in part to hydrogen bonding between the polymer chains. Compare this with hydrogen bonding in a protein α-helix or β-sheet structure.

Kevlar is used in bullet-resistant body armor such as this bulletproof vest.