Alcoa and DuPont Collaborate on New Hurricane-Resistant Architectural Panel System

PITTSBURGH & WILMINGTON, Del.--June 8, 2006--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and DuPont have collaborated to develop a new product for the commercial building and construction market that provides protection against the damage of hurricane wind-borne debris.

The two corporate leaders have joined forces to introduce an innovative new product that incorporates both companies' science and technical expertise in high-strength materials technology. Called Reynobond® with Kevlar®, it is a durable architectural panel system designed to withstand wind-borne debris and wind speeds common in hurricanes up to a Category 3 storm. (Category 3 hurricanes have wind speeds up to 130 mph). Reynobond® made with Kevlar® brand fiber acts as a safety net by helping to protect the facades of buildings from hurricane-propelled debris, frequently the main cause of hurricane damage.

Reynobond® with Kevlar® combines the weight and flexibility benefits of Alcoa's Reynobond® aluminum composite material with the impact-resistant strength of DuPont(TM) Kevlar® fiber. "Partnering with DuPont provided Alcoa the opportunity to enhance our lightweight, widely used Reynobond aluminum composite material to a new level of usage by inserting DuPont's ultra strong Kevlar fabric into the architectural panel," said Eric Bassel, President of Alcoa Architectural Products.

Market-Driven Collaboration

"This market-driven collaboration between two well-known technology and industrial leaders was essential in enabling the successful launch of this new, multi-material product. Deep fundamental knowledge of their respective materials and close collaboration on interface performance were key in developing this unique product," said Alcoa Vice President and Chief Technical Officer Mohammad Zaidi.

"Because threats to people's livelihood are dynamic and evolving, we continue to put DuPont science to work - in this instance, collaborating with Alcoa on an innovative new product that helps protect people, property and business operations," said William J. Harvey, vice president and general manager, DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems. "Through this science-based collaboration, DuPont and Alcoa combined their extensive expertise, product knowledge and market experience to accelerate the design-to-market process."

By introducing a thin layer of fabric made from Kevlar® fiber between the Reynobond® aluminum skins and polyethylene core, Alcoa has created the only light, flexible aluminum composite material that can, on its own, withstand hurricane-propelled debris.

Alcoa has successfully tested panels of Reynobond® with Kevlar® that have passed rigorous simulated hurricane impact tests conducted by Hurricane Test Laboratory, LLC in Florida, including the "large missile impact test," involving a 9-pound 2X4 timber traveling at 50 feet per second, as stipulated by the Miami-Dade Building Code. Official approval of the product from the Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office is pending.

Reynobond® with Kevlar® is an ideal cladding material for the facades of commercial office and public buildings, such as schools, libraries, museums, hospitals and other small and mid-sized structures, particularly in hurricane prone areas like the U.S. Gulf region.

Reynobond® with Kevlar® is a cost-effective alternative to traditional fascia materials because no protective backer material is needed, it is easy to install, and it is low maintenance. Panels can be shop-fabricated and quickly and simply installed onto studs, significantly reducing installation time and labor costs as compared to other facades. Because no repainting is required, the new product requires less maintenance over its lifetime.

Highly Engineered Solution

Reynobond® with Kevlar® is a lightweight aluminum composite material that helps provide protection for a building structure with a superior strength to weight ratio further enhanced by the extraordinary high strength of DuPont(TM) Kevlar® brand fiber, which is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis. Kevlar® is used around the world as the life-saving material in bullet-resistant vests and body armor. In this application, Kevlar® provides superior impact resistance, similar to how it works as a protective barrier around jet turbine blades and luggage containers for aircraft to help shield passengers from flying debris should an explosion occur.

Reynobond® with Kevlar® shares the same benefits of durability and versatility as traditional Reynobond® aluminum composite material, which is used around the world in a wide range of interior and exterior architectural and specialty applications. Plus, Reynobond® with Kevlar® enjoys the same limitless range of colorful hues as traditional Reynobond® aluminum composite material, providing the added bonus of greater architectural aesthetics.

Reynobond® with Kevlar® will initially be available throughout U.S. hurricane-related markets from Texas to Florida and north to Maine and then globally. To learn more about this new product from Alcoa Architectural Products, as well as a demonstration of the product in use, visit

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap® foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa® wheels, and Baco® household wraps. Among its other businesses are closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 129,000 employees in 43 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at

DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.

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