Asian growth continues for DuPont Co., as the plastics and chemicals leader now plans to begin producing high-performance nylon and parts made of polyimide in Singapore.
Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont will begin making parts and shapes from its Vespel-brand polyimide in Singapore sometime in 2007. The firm already operates Vespel sites in Ohio, Delaware, Belgium and Japan.
Earlier this year, DuPont also announced plans to increase Vespel-brand resin capacity by 50 percent at a plant in Circleville, Ohio.
Vespel commonly is used in bushings, seal rings and thrust washers for automotive, aerospace and semiconductor applications.
``Industry demand for metals-replacement technologies that reduce weight and cost is driving a step change for our business,'' Vespel global business director Bill Weber said in a news release. ``A Singapore facility would help us meet growth demands both globally and locally.''
A production site for Zytel HTN-brand nylon will open in 2009, with annual capacity of 33 million pounds. The project effectively will double DuPont's global capacity for the material, which also is made in Tennessee and Virginia. Its plant in Richmond, Va., opened in the first half of 2005.
``Demand for high-performance [nylons], especially in automotive under-hood and electrical and electronics markets, is growing rapidly worldwide,'' Zytel HTN global business manager Clive Robertson said in a news release. About 60 percent of Zytel HTN demand comes from the automotive sector, in such parts as fuel valves and coolant-system components.
The Zytel project will be housed in an expansion of an existing DuPont site, while the Vespel plant will be in a separate location. No details were available as to job creation, plant size or cost of the projects.
Officials also declined to estimate the amount of sales generated by the Zytel and Vespel units, but said the global market for high-performance nylon - including Zytel - is growing at a rate of 12-14 percent per year.