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Kydex is a line of thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride alloy sheet grades. It is frequently used as an alternative to leather in the production of firearm holsters and sheaths for knives. Kydex Thermoplastic Sheet is a registered trademark of Kleerdex Company, LLC and is the only manufacturer of this line of proprietary thermoplastic sheet.
Additional recommended knowledge
Kydex sheet was originally produced in 1965 by Rohm and Haas, having been designed for use in aircraft interiors. In 1987, the product line was purchased by the Kleerdex Company, LLC, which manufactures the material at a location in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
Characteristics as a holster material
Kydex is an acrylic-polyvinyl chloride alloy produced by Kleerdex. Engineered for thermoforming fabrication, Kydex, combines the advantageous properties of both the acrylic and the polyvinyl chloride components. From acrylic, it obtains superior rigidity and formability; from PVC, outstanding toughness, chemical resistance and good interior finish ratings.
The combination of strength properties of Kydex places it at the highest level among thermoforming materials. Its modulus of elasticity in flexure is 330,000 psi - 50% higher than many other sheets.
Parts formed of Kydex will be much more rigid and will deform less when loaded. This is of particular importance in deep formed parts with thin wall sections. Kydex offers rigidity along with a high degree of toughness and resilience.
Kydex is a relatively hard thermoplastic with a hardness of 90 on the Rockwell R scale. In service, this excellent abrasion resistance is further enhanced by the grained surface of the Kydex sheets.
Kydex has a UL classification of 94 V-0.
Ease of thermoforming
Excellent chemical resistance
UL 94 V-0 classification
Kydex sheet is a non-porous material, which is easily molded into shape by heating, forming, and cooling the material. Typically it is supplied in sheets of varying thickness, which can be cut into shape and formed. Kydex sheet is advertised to have a number of advantages over leather in forming holsters and other similar items, including:
These, depending on person preference, may or may not be disadvantage:
There are also some disadvantages to Kydex sheet. Kydex thermoplastic sheet cannot be molded without high temperatures, and so a Kydex sheet holster must be formed to its final shape by the manufacturer, where a leather holster will naturally tend to stretch and conform to both the gun and the wearer. Since KYDEX® sheet is a thermoplastic, not only does it get soft at high temperatures, but it also gets harder at low temperatures, and may become brittle in cold conditions.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kydex". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|