DuPont will invest $90 million to expand production of film used in flexible electronic circuits. The company's DuPont iTechnologies business will add a third Kapton polyimide film line at its Circleville, Ohio, plant, DuPont announced May 9. The line will expand DuPont's Kapton global capacity by about 25 percent when it begins operating in the first half of 2002. The company claims the line will be the largest for polyimide film in the world, but officials did not disclose a capacity figure.
Polyimide films are enjoying strong growth because of widespread use in wireless, digital and computer-communications products. Electronics firms create circuits on the films, which then are assembled into printed circuit boards used in cellular phones, digital cameras and other small devices. Polyimide films are lightweight, durable and resist the high temperatures encountered during circuit fabrication and assembly processes.
Such films are in high demand as hand-held electronic devices become smaller, said DuPont spokeswoman Cathy Andriadis.
The investment will support DuPont's double-digit growth in those markets, John Hodgson, DuPont iTechnologies group vice president and general manager, said in a news release.
DuPont iTechnologies was formed late last year from DuPont's photopolymer and electronic materials businesses, said spokesman Len Stevens. DuPont announced the new business to stock analysts in mid-December, Stevens said in a telephone interview from DuPont's headquarters in Wilmington, Del.
DuPont expanded in polyimide films last year when it acquired Wirex, a film and laminates producer in Taiwan. It has expansions under way for other electronics materials made in Bayport, Texas, and Tokai, Japan.
DuPont iTechnologies encompasses materials for information technology, holographic displays, photoresists, high-performance microcircuits and proofing and packaging graphics products.