French company develops new protective jeans

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A French company is using a material designed for the European Space Agency (ESA) to make pants that prevent road rash.

The material is combined with denim fabric to armor the gear. Pierre-Henry Servajean was wearing regular jeans when he dumped his bike in 1995.

"I realized everything I had on my body was perfect - my helmet, gloves, jacket - except the jeans. I had suitable things for every part of my body, except my legs," he told Space Ref.

A decade later, he founded of ESquad, a fashion label devoted to protective jeans made from denim mixed with 'ultra high molecular weight polyethylene' (UHMWPE). The fibers are twice as strong as Kevlar and 10 to 100 times stronger than steel.

A tether of the fibers just half a millimeter thick was used in a space recent experiment. Those same fibers, wrapped on cotton, make Armalith fabric, which ESA kis touting as part of its Technology Transfer Program to apply technologies outside of space sectors.

To demonstrate the fabric's strength, Savajean organized a unique publicity stunt: he suspended a 2700 kg Hummer from a pair of the jeans.

Posted by Holly Wagner