Düsseldorf, Germany — It's not shocking that electrification was on the minds of DuPont Co. officials at K 2016.
The Wilmington, Del.-based firm focused on high-temperature, halogen-free grades of its Zytel-brand nylon 6/6 and Crastin-brand polybutylene terephthalate for electrification uses in cars and homes. Auto uses for the new materials include electrical connectors as well as wire and cable applications, company executive Andreas Zoller said in an Oct. 21 interview at K 2016.
Newer vehicles use more electrical wiring, and driverless cars in particular-need to be more reliable, added Zoller, who serves as marketing and business development leader for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for DuPont Performance Materials.
In construction, “smart homes” are using the new materials in circuit breakers, sensors and protectors. The materials are commercially available and are being made at DuPont sites around the world.
Zoller also spotlighted new applications for some DuPont materials. The firm's Hytrel-brand PBT is being used in flexible conveyor belts, where new detection technology is helping to avoid food contamination. Hytrel also is being used in transparent wound coverings, keeping water out while protecting wounds as they heal.
In the medical market, DuPont's Delrin-brand acetal is being used in insulin pens and inhalers, Zoller said. Rynite-brand PET is finding homes in above-ground powerline sensors, where they can reduce energy use by 20 percent. And in addition to the new high-temperature grades, Zytel is being used to make charging cables for electric vehicles, he added.
DuPont is in the process of merging with fellow plastics and chemicals giant Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich.
DuPont posted sales of $25.1 billion in 2015, including $5.3 billion from Performance Materials, which includes nylon and other specialty resins. Based on sales, Performance Materials was the second-largest of DuPont's six operating units in 2015, generating a 21 percent share.
The combined firm would have annual sales of almost $75 billion, based on 2015 results. Plans call for the new entity to be split into three separate publicly-traded companies, including one that would contain most of the two firms' materials businesses.