Like BTS, Hyosung’s Homegrown ‘Bulletproof’ Brand ALKEX® to Go Global
BTS, the K-pop icon group that grew into a global pop icon of the century, has topped global music charts including the US Billboard, UK Official Chart, and Japan’s Oricon. The artist has recorded the No.1 in global music sales. BTS which stands for “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” is actually about making a statement: To be resistant to ‘bullets’ of hardships, stereotypes, and pressure the younger generations around the world are suffering.
As BTS protects the youth with its music, Hyosung Advanced Materials’ aramid brand, ALKEX® helps assure people’s safety as it is a key material in bulletproof jackets, helmets and vehicles.
Hyosung’s aramid brand ALKEX® that ensures everyone’s safety
The super fiber aramid is polyamide with over 85% of amide bond (-CONH-) formation, which makes it bullet resistant. It is five times stronger than steel and 19 times more flexible than nylon. Boasting fire-retardant quality and the same tensile strength as that of nylon, it can sustain extremely high temperatures as high as 500°C. Aramid comes in two forms: meta-aramid and para-aramid. Hyosung Advanced Materials produces meta-aramids that account for the majority of the global market.
Hyosung has developed aramid yarn back in 2003 based on its proprietary technology and succeeded in commercialization in 2009. ALKEX® is a combined word of an ancient Greek word ‘ALKE’ (the strength that protects you) and the English word ‘X’ representing words like ‘extreme,’ ‘expert’ and ‘extraordinary.’ The name itself represents Hyosung’s commitment to providing high-quality products that go beyond expectations of customers.
Hyosung Advanced Materials is a total solution provider, offering various products that cater to a wide range of customer needs based on new technology and know-how from its business lines. The company engages in production and sales of industrial materials ranging from aramids to various tire reinforcement materials to the carbon fiber TANSOME®.
A ‘good’ fiber not only stops bullets but also cares for the environment
Of course, mankind’s safety and comfort through technology always comes first in everything we do at Hyosung. But we also care for the environment and our next generation. Hyosung runs a pre-chemical treatment facility for wastewater treatment to process up to 2,000 tons of high strength wastewater every day. The wastewater undergoes the pre-treatment process of storage tank, neutralization tank, oxidation tank, reaction tank and sedimentation tank before entering wastewater treatment facility.
Aramid in everyday life
What are the areas this super fiber is applied to? It is mainly applied in areas designed to protect human and objects such as bulletproof materials, reinforcement materials for vehicles, hose, belts and tires, fiber optic cables and rope reinforcements, and safety gloves.
For its outstanding bulletproof functionality, aramid materials are used as core materials for bulletproof jackets, vests, helmets and vehicles. It is no exaggeration to say the history of bulletproof jackets has begun with the development of aramid. As such, its standing in the bulletproof industry is unparalleled. It is also used for anti-blade and anti-spike purposes to protect the body from sharp objects, for example aramid gloves.
Being light and fatigue resistant, it shines when applied to mechanical rubber goods, or MRG, which require heat resistance and durability (e.g., reinforcement for tire, hose, belts). Its application is continuing to expand with recent increasing adoption in fiber optic cables, which has been growing in demand due to the expansion of 5G technology.
Hyosung aramid going global
Hyosung has continued to invest in advanced materials as the company’s future growth engine. As part of such efforts, it has expanded its aramid production facility in 2021 to scale up supply of the fiber. Hyosung Advanced Materials has stepped up its output of aramids from 1,200 tons/year to 3,700 tons/year in a bid to increase its global market share.
Hyosung Advanced Materials participated in Milipol Paris 2021, an international defense industry exhibition to showcase ALKEX®’s super stab-resistance and bulletproof functionality as well as lightweight bulletproof jackets and helmets built on newly developed high tenacity yarns. As such, Hyosung has put strenuous efforts to meet the needs of global customers with its unparalleled products to grow into a global leader in aramid material.