The plant manager of DuPont's Fayetteville Works site said his company is committed to research and development on innovations that address the "the megatrends" of food, fuel and protection.
Ellis McGaughy, who has served as the plant's site manager since 2010, spoke Wednesday to 35 business people and educators during the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon series.
The Fayetteville Works site is spread over 350 acres along the Cumberland-Bladen county line. About 460 DuPont employees work there along with 300 to 400 contractors.
McGaughy called diversification the lifeblood of the long-term health of the company. He discussed DuPont's long history and how it has reinvented itself over time.
McGaughy said DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman has talked extensively about three platforms that the world is going to need over the long term: feeding the world, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and keeping people and the environment safe.
"We're going to have to feed people. Look at the population," said McGaughy, a 52-year-old North Carolina native. "We want to focus on providing the technology and products that sustain food for that population."
The Fayetteville plant produces Tedlar, a polyvinyl fluoride film used in the protective sheet on the back of most solar panels because of its durability and weather resistance.
"The great thing about the plant site here is we have a great variety of products," McGaughy said.
Those include SentryGlas, a laminating material that helps create safety glass.
"It has been called hurricane glass," he said. "I hear firefighters hate it because it's so hard to break through. It's got some great properties. They're putting some SentryGlas in automobiles down in South America to make them semi-bullet proof."
The Grand Canyon's Skywalk glass bridge is SentryGlas, too, he said.
"More than likely, that material is made right here in Fayetteville. That's an exciting product, and it's continuing to see steady growth," McGaughy said.
Another product made at the Fayetteville plant is Nafion, which is used in fuel cells. Butacite is a laminated glass used in automobiles and buildings.
"I don't have a clue of all the products DuPont makes," he said with a grin. "We make so many things - I have to apologize - I don't know them all."
Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3529.