A UK-based tech startup has found a way to recycle old body armour materials.
Currently, when soldiers’ protective gear gets retired, the special fibres it’s made of are usually burned.
The London-based company, called Uplift360, supported with nearly £500,000 from the government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), has come up with an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient method to reuse these fibres in new military equipment.
Using a sustainable process to break down the fibres, especially Kevlar which is a strong and heat-resistant synthetic material commonly used in body armour, the technology preserves their strength.
This means the fibres can be used again in making new gear.
The recycling method is projected to result in substantial savings for the defence sector – kevlar is much more expensive than steel, by a factor of around 85.
The DASA is an important part of the UK Ministry of Defence – it helps find and financially support innovative ideas in the defence and security field.
Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie said: “The process designed by Uplift360 is a really good example of how new and intelligent thinking can transform old practices in Defence.
“Their innovative approach could reduce wastage, save money and secure supply without compromising on high quality kit for our armed forces.”