DuPont Engineering Polymers has formed an alliance with a California-based technology firm to expand DuPont's MetaFuse brand of hybrid materials made from polymers and nanocrystalline metal.
Initial projects for DuPont EP a unit of Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co. and PowerMetal Technologies Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif., include electronic hand-held devices, sporting goods, furniture, power tools and appliances. PowerMetal already has developed nanotech-based parts for aerospace and defense markets, as well as sports equipment used in baseball, golf, cycling and other sports.
DuPont struck a similar deal in 2007 with Morph Technologies Inc. of Toronto. Both PowerMetal and Morph are units of Integran Technologies Inc., a nanotechnology provider with offices in Toronto and Pittsburgh.
DuPont introduced MetaFuse at the K 2007 trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Initially, six grades were available, all based on DuPont-brand nylon resins. The materials are compounded at a DuPont site in Parkersburg, W.Va.
MetaFuse technology's ``combination of strength and stiffness from metals, plus the design flexibility of plastics,'' allows designers and engineers to be creative with fewer limits, said Keith Smith, DuPont EP vice president and general manager, in a Sept. 10 news release.
The technology used in MetaFuse applies ultrahigh-strength nanometal to parts made of DuPont engineering resins. The resulting parts are lightweight but have the stiffness of aluminum, magnesium or even stronger materials, officials have said.
The technology produces metals with grain size 1,000 times smaller than those of conventional metals, according to the company. Parts already have been made applying a MetaFuse nanometal coating to DuPont nylon, acetal and copolyester resins.