CHICAGO-DuPont Co. revealed plans last week for investing more than $515 million in its global ethylene copolymers and blown shrink film businesses. DuPont will spend more than $15 million to double capacity for Clysar shrink film at its 7-year-old operation in Le Trait, France, by 1998.
The expansion will introduce linear low density polyethylene Clysar film to the European market, and boost total global Clysar capacity by 15 percent, said Jerome M. Smith, vice president and general manager of DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers. Smith announced the invesments Nov. 19 at Pack Expo in Chicago.
The Le Trait facility, known as DuPont Pack- aging France SA, already makes Clysar polypro-pylene shrink film. So far, DuPont has made PE-based Clysar exclusively at its Clinton, Iowa, plant.
``The primary benefit of polyethylene vs. polypropylene [Cly-sar] is that it is compatible with all sealing equipment,'' Smith said.
DuPont's ethylene copolymers business will receive more than $500 million to boost worldwide production capacity 25 percent and broaden product lines, tailoring resins for new specialty applications in packaging and industrial markets. That five-year invest- ment targets plants in Texas, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands, which together produce 1 billion pounds per year of ethylene copolymers, such as Surlyn ionomers and Nucrel acid copolymers, for food packaging, consumer goods and other products.
Both ethylene copolymers and Clysar film are part of DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers, in Wilmington, Del. Packaging makes up more than half of the unit's $1.4 billion in sales, according to Smith. He has headed that business since Sept. 1.
The expansion at Le Trait will add extrusion and finishing equipment, including cross-linking ability, he said.
Also last week at Pack Expo, DuPont introduced a low-energy, multilayer PE shrink wrap, called Clysar LE, which because of its toughness and low shrink force is aimed at thin, flat packages, such as magazines and catalogs. The company also has re-engineered its Clysar HP, a general-purpose workhorse shrink film, to withstand a wider thermal range in sealers and tunnels for stronger seals.
A hot-slip version, Clysar HPS, is available for hot-pack applications.
Clysar blown shrink film is used for overwrapping consumer products, such as toys. It also is growing as a replacement for PVC in wrapping chicken.