VIENNA, AUSTRIA (Sept. 8, 10:25 a.m. EDT) — At K 2004, DuPont Co. will introduce a new thermoplastic elastomer called ETPV and show off scores of new applications, while DuPont Engineering Polymers will highlight its effort to reach product designers.
Engineering Polymers has restructured its marketing organ-ization, to focus on functional properties — things like high-temperature resistance and mechanical strength — instead of the old designation by material, such as nylon, polyester and acetal, said Stewart Daykin, technical and development manager for Engineering Polymers Europe. The new organization should make it easier for designers to deal with the firm, he said.
“They select the right engineering polymer on the basis of the material's functionality, not its base chemistry,” Daykin said at DuPont's pre-K news conference, held in May in Vienna.
This year, the firm hired three young industrial designers to help understand contemporary design trends and communicate with designers at its customers, said Eric Gregoire, industrial marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Daykin said DuPont is focusing on more than just new polymers. The firm is helping customers improve manufacturing processes, for example, by applying Six Sigma methods and helping with screw designs to reduce cycle time.
Under a new service, molders will be able to contact DuPont processing specialists over the Internet.
Terry Caloghiris, vice president and general manager, said DuPont's K show booth will highlight applications.
“It's all about applications development. We don't have any business where somebody just calls up and says, send me a truckload of polymer,” he said.
Engineering Polymers is the largest of several businesses that form DuPont's Performance Materials platform, which had sales of $5.4 billion in 2003, an increase of 9 percent over 2002, Caloghiris said.
At the news conference, DuPont officials introduced ETPV, an engineering-grade thermoplastic vulcanizate with promising automotive applications. Patrick Ferronato, global automotive marketing director, said ETPV already is being used for auto applications requiring oil, grease and chemical resistance at temperatures up to 290° F.
Current commercial applications include spark plug boots, air-brake hose and fuel vent hose. Promising applications for the future are ducts and hoses, ignition seals, two-component seals, body plugs and constant-velocity-joint boots.
Nandakumar Rao, global technology director, said 85 percent of DuPont's annual investment in research and development supports established businesses — with product launches expected within five years. The remaining 15 percent is for longer-term R&D.
DuPont currently generates nearly one-third of its sales from products introduced in the last five years, Rao said.