DSM Integrated Annual Report 2021

DSM Protective Materials

Highlights 2021

About Protective Materials

DSM Protective Materials is the world’s only global and backward-integrated producer of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) products. Our premium product brand, Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, is 15 times stronger than steel on a weight-for-weight basis, 40% stronger than aramid, yet light enough to float on water. These characteristics make it suitable for a wide range of critical applications including personal protection, workwear, sports apparel, outdoor equipment, ropes and slings, synthetic chains, and nets for the aquaculture and renewable energy sectors.

In line with our commitment to protect people and the environment in which they live, DSM Protective Materials has developed the first ever bio-based UHMWPE fiber. Sourced from renewable, bio-based feedstock through the mass-balance approach, bio-based Dyneema® is our newest innovation in fiber technology — boasting the same performance characteristics as conventional Dyneema® with a carbon footprint that is 90% lower than generic high modulus polyethylene (HMPE).

Protective Materials performance

Volumes improved owing to good demand recovery, which together with pricing strength led to good results.

Growing demand for bio-based Dyneema®

Demand for bio-based Dyneema® continued to grow and gain traction across all markets during 2021. In addition to the high interest for biobased Dyneema for lifting slings used in off shore windmill installation, growth was also driven by the decision to include bio-based Dyneema® in two other segments. In Personal Protection, it was incorporated into all new product offerings, while in Consumer & Professional Protection, all composite fabric products were transitioned to bio-based Dyneema®. These changes resulted in the avoidance of approximately 2 kt CO2eq emissions in 2021.

The journey to making fully circular Dyneema®-based products

In 2021, the cross-industry coalition established the previous year to address the recycling of end-of-life Dyneema®-based products made considerable progress. By working together with the CirculariTeam® members and our supplier SABIC, we were able to produce recycled-based Dyneema® from mixed plastic waste as a pilot project in both a sailing rope (for Marlow Ropes) and a pelagic trawl net application (for Gleistein). This not only contributes to preventing valuable plastic from becoming waste and the avoidance of carbon emissions compared to incineration, but also helps preserve fossil resources. This was an important milestone in our journey to making fully circular Dyneema® from HMPE post-production and post-consumer waste.

Ropes with Dyneema® used to salvage the Ever Given from the Suez Canal

On 23 March 2021, the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships at 400m in length, became wedged across the Suez Canal after running aground amid high winds, disrupting global trade for almost six days. The ship was refloated after a successful salvage operation involving various parties. Lankhorst’s Lanko®Force ropes made with Dyneema® SK78 were used by tugs from Suez Canal Authority in a joint operation together with Smit Lamnalco, Svitzer, and other stakeholders, demonstrating the high performance and reliability of Lanko®Force ropes made with Dyneema®.

Protecting the São Paolo Police with next-generation Dyneema® UD

Together with body armor manufacturing partner MKU, we provided next-generation armor technology with Dyneema® unidirectional (UD) material to protect the police force of São Paulo (Brazil). Numbering more than 100,000 officers, the São Paulo Police is the first law enforcement agency in Brazil to initiate a tender for personal protective equipment based on the latest National Institute of Justice 0101.06 standards for body armor, which provide compliance criteria for the performance and testing of ballistic materials. The hybrid vest solution predominantly utilizes Dyneema® UD material to deliver new levels of performance and protection while simultaneously enhancing user comfort and mobility.

Dyneema® helps Team DSM cyclist to landmark victory

In April, Team DSM rider Lorena Wiebes won the first-ever Scheldeprijs road cycling race for women. She put on a powerful sprint finish to cross the line first, having walked away from a serious crash with only minimal abrasions just weeks previously thanks to the protection afforded by the Dyneema® in her cycling jersey. When combined with a protective base layer, the Team DSM jersey offers cyclists effective abrasion protection at speeds up to 60 km/h, while also reducing the severity of open wounds at even higher speeds.

Carbon footprint
The total set of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions expressed as CO2eq.
High modulus polyethylene
Mass-balance accounting is a well-known approach that has been designed to trace the flow of materials through a complex value chain. The mass-balance approach provides a set of rules for how to allocate the bio-based and/or recycled content to different products to be able to claim and market the content as ‘bio’-based or ‘recycled’-based.
Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene