With the introduction of new fluoropolymer processing aid technology, DuPont has created more environmentally sustainable coatings and finishes.
A Variety of Nonstick Coatings in Use Today
Nonstick coatings are used in a range of products and applications and they are available in different formulations. The two most popular coatings are fluoropolymers and silicone. However, only fluoropolymers provide the nonstick performance users have come to expect.
Fluoropolymer coatings use any number of fluoropolymer resin compounds (principally PTFE) that are solid, non-toxic polymers having inherent nonstick properties. The advantages of fluoropolymer coatings are that they retain the nonstick quality far longer and, with advances in coating technology, are far more resistant to wear. In cookware applications, fluoropolymer coatings are primarily used on pots, pans, and small electric appliances.
Silicone and Sol-Gel So-called Ceramic Coatings
Silicone Coatings use synthetic resins that can be applied to specially prepared metal surfaces and bonded to the metal by baking. Sol-Gel, or so-called ceramic coatings, are solvent-based products. Both types tend to lose their nonstick characteristic sooner than fluoropolymer coatings. For example, a piece of cookware coated with DuPont™ PTFE or DuPont™ Teflon® brand nonstick coatings lasts seven times longer than a typical sol-gel ceramic coated pan.
The Uses of Nonstick Technology Today
While many people associate nonstick resins and finished goods with cookware, fluoropolymers play a vital role in many applications, including:
- Providing cable and internet service.
- Generating clean and renewable energy.
- Manufacturing more efficient and reliable vehicles.
- Providing a clean and safe food supply.
- Making insulation for cabling that is essential for safety, security, and performance in buildings, data centers, ships, and aircraft.
Among the characteristics that make fluoropolymers so important are:
- Unique physical properties, such as resistance to high and low temperature.
- Resistance to chemical and environmental attack.
- Nonstick characteristics.
- Dielectric and fire-resistant properties that are needed in a wide range of electrical and electronic applications.
Sustainability Efforts That Are Significant and Substantiated
At DuPont, we are committed to sustainability efforts in our operations, including the manufacture of more environmentally sustainable coatings and finishes. We follow best practices, and when available, adhere to guidelines that have been ratified or endorsed by third-party organizations. For assessing the environmental burdens of a product, we use a holistic Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) model that evaluates the environmental footprint of a product throughout its five-stage life cycle:
- Raw materials production.
- Product manufacture.
- Packaging and distribution.
- Consumer use.
- End-of-life disposal.
Improved Sustainability With New Technology
In the nonstick fluoropolymer coatings business, we have continued to reduce the environmental footprint with our new fluoropolymer processing aid technology.
With a more favorable toxicological profile and very rapid bioelimination, this new technology offers a more environmentally sustainable solution. It also includes unique environmental exposure control technologies that reduce the potential for environmental release and exposure.
With new fluoropolymer processing aid technology, we can now produce fluoropolymer resins, along with end-use articles made from resins that contain extremely low to non-detectable residual processing aid content.
The Environmental Advantages of Teflon® Brand Fabric Protector
The DuPont commitment to more environmentally sustainable coatings also extends to the use of Capstone® finishes. Based on more environmentally sustainable short-chain technology, these finishes deliver superior performance that is supported by extensive environmental, health, and safety testing. DuPont™ Capstone® repellent and stain release products are key ingredients in Teflon® fabric protector. We bring these solutions to market in a wide range of applications, including clothing, carpet, and couches.
Fabrics treated with Teflon® fabric protector reduce the need to wash or spot-clean because liquids bead up and roll off. Teflon® fabric protector also removes ring-around-the-collar, which reduces detergent use and repetitive washing. Stains are removed at lower wash temperatures for treated fabrics versus untreated fabrics. Fabrics treated with repellent technology also dry 25 to 40% faster than untreated fabrics using either tumble or air dry.
A garment’s performance, features, and appearance is preserved when fewer washings are required. This also saves, time, energy, and money. And since less detergent and water are used, there is a lower impact on the environment. Teflon® fabric protector is engineered to help keep textiles beautiful longer.
In the fabric industry, DuPont is an active member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an industry group comprised of brand houses, retailers, and material suppliers throughout the apparel supply chain. DuPont is committed to achieving the goal of the coalition, which is to lead the global apparel industry to more environmentally sustainable business practices and apparel products.