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DuPont Engineering Design Electronic Magazine

The industry’s broadest portfolio
of renewably-sourced polymers

By Marsha Craig
Global Business Manager – Renewable Sourced Materials at DuPont Performance Polymers

In line with its motto of “Responsible Innovation Now”, DuPont has taken the performance of plastics to new frontiers, whilst seeking to reduce its own environmental footprint and those of its customers.

True to its strategy of offering polymers that are at least 20 percent renewably sourced and have equal or better performance than the entirely petrochemically-based materials they replace, DuPont now has the industry’s broadest range of high-performance, renewably-sourced polymers offering comparable performance to existing product lines.

Component made from renewably sourced materialsWhat this means for its customers is that they no longer have to choose between performance and environmental improvements. Not only can these products help reduce dependence on fossil fuel but, in many instances, they also reduce the net production of greenhouse gases and energy consumption in the manufacturing process when compared to incumbent petroleum-based products. With today's innovative technologies, all this can be achieved without compromising performance. Applications for renewably sourced products cross numerous industries and markets.

Three families of polymers

Currently there are three families of high-performance, renewably-sourced engineering polymers available from DuPont Performance Polymers. DuPont™ Sorona® EP thermoplastic polymers, which are available in glass-reinforced and unreinforced grades, contain on average 35 percent renewable content by weight. Sorona® EP performs and processes similarly to PBT in molded automotive parts, electrical components and industrial or consumer goods.

DuPont™ Hytrel® RS thermoplastic elastomers contain 35% to 65% renewably sourced material and are made using renewably-sourced polyol derived from plant feedstocks. Properties include excellent flex fatigue and flexibility at low temperatures and high impact resistance. DuPont’s family of DuPont™ Zytel® RS long chain nylons, based on sebacic acid extracted from castor-oil plants , includes Zytel® RS polyamide 1010, which is 98 percent renewably sourced, and Zytel® RS polyamide 610, which is more than 58 percent by weight renewably sourced. Seven different grades now are commercial.

Despite recent economic difficulties, customer demand for bio-based polymers continues to be strong, and customers have already announced commercial adoptions in automotive, sporting goods and household applications. Most recently in Europe, an ‘organic’ version of the fischer UX Universal Plug UX, which is made of renewably-sourced DuPont™ Zytel® RS nylon, was presented by the fischer group of companies of Waldachtal, Germany. The grade of Zytel® RS used in the new wall plug has a renewably-sourced content by weight of 58 percent. In continuous tests, the ‘organic’ plug has consistently shown the same retaining values as the conventional UX Universal Plug. Investigations involving the performance at high temperatures also show the same temperature resistance for both plugs.

Sustainable solutions in packaging

In addition to its portfolio of renewably sourced engineering resins, DuPont also offers renewably sourced products for the packaging market, including DuPont™ Biomax® PTT injection moldable resin. Biomax® PTT is a new high performance hybrid biomaterial that helps high-end packaging to reduce environmental footprint with no compromise on aesthetics and performance requirements. It is made in part from renewable feedstocks, contains up to 37% renewably sourced content by weight and provides performance similar to PBT in moulding applications.

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