Düsseldorf, Germany — The Transportation & Industrial unit of plastics and chemicals leader DuPont Co. is at K 2019 with cutting-edge solutions in advanced mobility, health care and enabled connections.
Nylon, polyester and other materials made by Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont are finding their way into hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles, DuPont T&I President Randy Stone said in an Oct. 17 interview.
Adding adhesives and silicones from DuPont's short-lived merger with Dow Inc. allows DuPont to bring "an integrated approach" to those vehicles, Stone added.
"Manufacturers want lightweighting and thermal management in those vehicles, just like they do with traditional internal combustion vehicles," he said.
DuPont has worked with automotive safety firm Autoliv of Stockholm for 40 years. DuPont officials said Autoliv needs "reliable, robust materials" for safety restraints to ensure the safety of children and adults.
Health care is "a big focus" for DuPont at K 2019, Stone said. The firm's materials are in a wide range of uses, including medical monitoring, wearables, medical devices and single-use tubing. "There's a lot of technology in home health care," Stone added.
In enabled connections, DuPont's design and technical support team worked with longtime customer Schneider Electric of Rueil-Malmaison, France, to find a solution for safe, reliable, long-life switchgear actuators. The use of a DuPont Zytel nylon resin grade for the actuator frame and another Zytel grade for cranks, drivers and tumblers represented the first time a thermoplastic material was used for a high-performance MV mechanism, officials said.
Stone said DuPont grades of nylon, copolyester and PBT are being used in connectors, sensors, relays and actuators.
Although DuPont doesn't do much work in single-use plastic products, which have been criticized for adding to waste problems, Stone said that the firm "still needs to play a role," adding that "the industry as a whole needs to do a better job of telling our narrative."
DuPont became a separate public firm on June 1, after spinning off its agricultural business into a new firm named Corteva. DuPont on April 1 had ended a three-year merger with Dow Inc.
Stone said that customers "won't see a significant change" when working with a newly independent DuPont.
"We want it to be a seamless transition," he added. "We're still invested in R&D and innovation, and we're very customer-focused. We have a good track record for reliability."