DuPont Performance Polymers is committed to providing sustainable and innovative solutions based on its high performance polymers and elastomers. One route to innovation taken by DuPont is close collaboration with its customers in addressing their needs for product differentiation and compliance. This is reflected by the recent commercialization of products for the health care and food industries, to be presented at K 2010, which meet respective industry regulations and are compliant with regional standards. Alternatively, in the wire and cable industry, DuPont is working closely with its customers in meeting sustainable options for now and the future, including elastomer solutions based on DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomer (AEM), which provides the high fire resistance and flexibility required for hybrid cables.
Advanced solutions for health care components
With the recent introduction of several new grades of DuPont engineering polymers that are specially designed to meet demanding health care requirements, DuPont is actively pursuing its objective to become the material supplier of choice to the health care segment.
The DuPont Performance Polymers health care product offering provides food agency compliance (FDA and EFSA) as well as USP Class VI and ISO 10993-5 and -11 compliance. They are available in two versions, each reflecting different levels of manufacturing control and material testing. Fifteen of the products are available as ‘Special Control’ grades that meet very high standards of manufacturing consistency important for a wide range of non-implantable medical products. Thirteen of the grades are available in ‘Premium Control’ versions meeting requirements for even more demanding manufacturing controls, broader regulatory support, additional testing, DMF access and the highest level of inspection. Both ‘Premium Control’ and ‘Special Control’ grades are produced according to good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines.
Photo caption: The Bardo™ airway manufactured from a Special Control Grade of DuPont™ Hytrel® TPC-ET — a combined biteblock and airway.
A prime example of the use of DuPont plastic to address a pertinent health care challenge is provided by the recently launched Bardo™ Airway — a patent-pending, combined bite block and airway from a company of the same name based in California, US. With dental and oral injuries found to occur in approximately 18 percent of cases of surgery and anesthesia, the Bardo™ Airway, manufactured from a Special Control grade of DuPont™ Hytrel®, minimizes dental injury by shifting jaw clenching forces from the weaker incisors to the stronger molars while lifting the tongue from the posterior pharynx to provide an open airway.
The product is molded using Hytrel® because of the material’s unique combination of the strength required to protect from bite forces and the flex modulus necessary to displace the tongue and open the airway. It is also compliant with the required regulations for the application and addresses environmental health concerns with its plasticizer-free/BPA-free formulation.
New polymer food grade products
Similarly, DuPont Performance Polymers has just launched a new family of products, designated “FG” (Food Grade), that meet demanding requirements for use in food contact applications. The materials being introduced make the DuPont offering one of the broadest portfolios of engineering plastics and thermoplastic elastomers for food contact applications. The new products provide compliance with several regional food contact regulations including FDA (Food and Drug Administration), European Food Contact n° 2002/72/EC and GMP (EC) n° 2023/2006. All FG products are available globally to allow customers to have the flexibility to design and manufacture in multiple regions.
One food-contact approved material already available is new Delrin® FG400MTD acetal resin, which is made with proprietary metal filler so that it can be detected by most metal-sensing equipment used in the food processing industry. Its introduction removes a previous barrier to the adoption of high performance thermoplastics to replace metal in the food processing industry — as reflected in a recent commercial application in the UK, where weighing and packing solutions provider Ishida Europe has substituted stainless steel food hoppers with food-approved, metal-detectable Delrin®. The adoption of Delrin® in this case has led to the production of lighter, lower cost and corrosion resistant components providing significant improvements in the feeding of high-adhesion foodstuffs.
Photo caption: DuPont™ Delrin® FG400MTD substitutes stainless steel food hoppers, used for the accurate dispensing of ‘sticky’ foodstuffs.
New solutions for the wire & cable industry
In line with the DuPont commitment to industry trends and the need for sustainable options for the 21st century, DuPont Performance Polymers has recently expanded its solutions for the wire & cable industry with Zytel® Renewably Sourced (RS) polyamide resins, Hytrel® RS thermoplastic polyester elastomer resins, and a high performance, halogen-free, flame retardant grade of DuPont™ ETPV thermoplastic vulcanizate resin. Other materials available from DuPont Performance Polymers for the wire and cable industry include DuPont™ Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomers (AEM), recognized as superior material for Halogen Free Flame Retardant (HFFR) and low smoke generating cable jacketing & insulations.
|Photo caption: Screened battery cable from Huber + Suhner, with outer insulation of DuPont™ Vamac®, meets special high temperature, high voltage demands of the latest hybrid and all electric automobiles.
The Swiss company Huber + Suhner AG uses Vamac® for the insulation of screened and unscreened battery cables used in electrical and hybrid vehicles, including the fully electric Tesla Roadster – the first production battery electric vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge and with zero tailpipe emissions. Huber + Suhner will soon supply cables for the entire Tesla S Model family as well. Vamac® was primarily specified for this application because of its excellent high temperature and fluids resistance in tough automotive operating environments from -40°C to +150°C, involving hot motor and gearbox oils, battery acid, salt water and cleaning solvents, for its flexibility and abrasion resistance in confined spaces and finally for its excellent insulation performance in very demanding hybrid or fully electric car application. According to Heinz Oesch, product unit manager for the automotive wire and cable division at Huber + Suhner AG, materials such as Vamac® can benefit from the strong trend towards electric or hybrid cars. Such technologies can offer the combined possibilities of improved fuel consumption and low to zero emissions. He believes the transition is being driven by high oil prices, environmental responsibility, tough new emissions regulations, and financial support from governments for such applications.
The DuPont Performance Polymers business manufactures and sells Crastin® PBT and Rynite® PET thermoplastic polyester resins, Delrin® acetal resins, Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomers, DuPont™ ETPV engineering thermoplastic vulcanizates, Minlon® mineral reinforced nylon resins, Neoprene® polychloroprene, Tynex® filaments, Vespel® parts and shapes, Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts, Vamac® ethylene acrylic elastomers (AEM), Viton® fluoroelastomers, Viton® FreeFlow processing aids, Zytel® nylon resins and Zytel® HTN high-performance polyamides. These products serve global markets in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer, electrical, electronic, healthcare, industrial, sporting goods and many other diversified industries.
DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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Click here for high resolution image of the Bardo™ Airway.
Click here for high resolution image of the DuPont™ Delrin® FG400MTD stainless steel food hoppers.
Click here for high resolution image of the screened battery cable from Huber + Suhner, with outer insulation of DuPont™ Vamac®.