Chinaplas 2013: DuPont places emphasis on R&D in China

With 50% of new materials that are offered globally developed locally in China, DuPont Performance Polymers plans to expand its Shanghai R&D centre later this year, further enhancing its application-development capabilities with the addition of 200 staff (to total 500) and doubling the space. Woong Chung, Global Technical Services Manager, said, "The centre was set up two years ago for automotive part testing, but now we will expand our focus to new materials, new designs and prototyping."

In terms of design capabilities, Woong says DuPont has 20 CAD / CAE designers in the region, claiming that it is the only firm providing full scope of design support. "We strongly believe in design solutions to add real value to customers and we look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with the automotive, industrial and consumer segments in China." In the automotive sector, the focus is on lightweighting, efficiency in automotive components for lower CO2 emissions and fuel economy, with downsizing of engines and focus on hybrid and electric cars as well as total system costs. New advance products for automotive applications include the Zytel Long Chain Polyamides (LCPAs).

A number of Chinese local vehicle makers have adopted the Zytel nylon resin and Vamac ethylene acrylic elastomer in the air-intake manifold, cylinder head cover and air ducts, allowing up to 40% decrease in component weight, compared with the metal counterparts. "We also custom make and localise the materials to suit Chinese demands and specific customer requests since Chinese OEMs want different types of materials," said Woong, adding that the automotive sector is demanding but DuPont is able to cater to the needs with its predictive engineering and tool shop availability at the technical centre. At Chinaplas, the firm also introduced a renewably sourced Zytel RS HTN grade that can be used for thinner, lighter handheld device housings while Zytel NHFR halogen-free fire retardant material offers a cleaner, more effective solution for this industry.


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