DuPont Co. arrived at NPE2009 with a product lineup it claims is the broadest range of renewably sourced engineering resins in the industry.
We have a full commercial line, and can bring performance equal to or better than that of petroleum-based products, said Marsha Craig, DuPont Engineering Polymers global business manager, in an interview at the show, held June 22-26 in Chicago.
DuPont can make its renewably sourced materials at its bioplastics plant in Loudon, Tenn. and at global production sites for such materials as nylon and thermoplastic elastomers.
The renewable product mix for Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont includes:
* Hytrel RS-brand thermoplastic elastomers.
* Sorona EO-brand bioplastic.
* Zytel RS long-chain nylon.
Denso Corp. of Kariya, Japan, is using Zytel RS in automotive radiator end tanks. Craig said the tanks use a nylon 6/10 grade of Zytel RS that is 60 percent renewably sourced.
The tanks need strength and stiffness, as well as resistance to salt and calcium chloride.
Craig said the application was the result of Denso's push to go green and is a great example of collaboration to jointly develop a product.
Collars on ski boots made by sporting goods supplier Salomon Group of Annecy, France, make use of Hytrel RS. The product needs functionality across a range of temperatures and has resonated with customers, according to Craig. Hytrel RS used in the parts has 25-65 percent renewable content.
On the horizon is an office chair made by Knoll Inc. of East Greenville, Pa., that uses not only Hytrel RS, but renewably sourced grades of DuPont's Crastin-brand polybutylene terephthalate and Delrin-brand acetal. A version of the chair using standard grades of those products recently won a major design award, Craig said, and the renewable version is in development.
Also making inroads in renewable products is DuPont's Biomax-brand polytrimethylene tere-phthalate, which is finding a home in cosmetics and food packaging.
Craig said she's confident bioplastics won't disappear from the industry's radar screen.
Bioplastics are over the top and moving fast now, she said, citing a recent study in which one-third of consumers said they are more likely to buy green products now than they were before the recession began.
There's broad-based market pull, Craig added. It's not slowing down, it's speeding up.
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