DuPont Performance Elastomers Claims Best-Ever Injectability for New Viton® EF Fluoroelastomer

Nurnberg, Germany, - 3 July 2006 - The highlight of DuPont Performance Elastomers (DPE) offering to the rubber industry at DKT was the introduction of Viton® EF fluoroelastomers, a new enhanced flow copolymer launched in response to demand from injection moulders and rubber compounders. The company claims a significant step forward in injection performance for Viton® EF based on test data from its own and customer trials, demonstrating injection times up to 50 percent faster than current Viton® copolymer types, leading to higher productivity and lower energy use for processors.

DPE also demonstrated the evolution of specialty fluoroelastomers with its latest portfolio of Viton® made with Advanced Polymer Architecture (APA) - the next generation of fluoroelastomers that meet rigorous automotive fuel system and powertrain sealing emissions regulation by providing enhanced resistance to new fuel compositions, and lower potential for evaporative emissions.

Key applications of APA polymers in the automotive industry include fuel system seals and hoses, air intake and engine oil gaskets. Viton® fluoroelastomers are also widely used in seals for critical chemical and petrochemical industry processes.

In addition, the company assured the general rubber industry of its continuing commitment to polychloroprene. In consolidating its Neoprene operations, the company is making a USD 50 million investment at its Pontchartrain, Louisiana, USA, facility.

DPE's DKT line-up was completed with Hypalon® chlorosulfonated polyethylene which, according to the company, remains the product of choice for coated fabrics, adding chemical and weather resistance to roofing membranes and sealing liners.

Viton® EF enhanced flow fluoroelastomers

"In developing Viton® EF fluoroelastomer we listened to what European processors told us about the need for faster injection times, higher productivity and greater competitiveness. The new Viton® types enable customers to achieve significant cycle time reductions through faster curing compounds that offer very smooth flow, faster mould filling and higher output, or the option of higher Mooney for even better mechanical properties," said Patrick Lederer, global marketing manager - Viton®, DuPont Performance Elastomers.

"Viton® EF is based on optimum control of the polymerization process using technology learnings from the APA polymer development, now a proven success. We have been able to generate products that allow customers to achieve substantial improvements in cycle time without compromising end-use properties. The new copolymers inject over 50 percent faster than current Viton® injection products."

Currently two new types, identified as VTR 9247 and VTR 9241, are available now as precompounds manufactured at DPE's Dordrecht, The Netherlands, facility. In most cases Viton® EF will not require requalification. These new precompounds are an addition to current Viton® injection moulding types which will remain in the expanding portfolio of Viton® fluoroelastomer products.

Neoprene and Hypalon®

DPE confirmed its commitment to Neoprene polychloroprene production which will continue at its Pontchartrain, Louisiana, USA, facility following the company's planned Louisville, Kentucky, polychloroprene plant closure in 2007. "DPE is investing USD 50 million in system upgrades at Pontchartrain to ensure continuity of supply of Neoprene and the capability of making products demanded by the market," said Jean-Marc Imbert, European chlorinated elastomer business manager, DuPont Performance Elastomers.

The company also demonstrated that Hypalon® chlorosulfonated polyethylene remains the product of choice for coated fabrics in many current civil engineering projects, revealing details of the newly commissioned Forest Lake Reservoir in California, USA, rehabilitated with a scrim reinforced liner made from Hypalon®.

According to DPE, membranes of Hypalon® have been weathered outdoors for many years with minimal fading and discoloration. They resist ultraviolet radiation, ozone and water treatment chemicals. The material has a very low thermal expansion coefficient and remains stable yet flexible at high and low temperatures. Repeated freezing and thawing cycles do not cause mechanical damage, and its elasticity allows liners to accommodate limited earth movement.

Technical presentation at DKT

DPE scientist Ronald D. Stevens presented a technical paper at DKT entitled "Long Term Fuel Aging of Peroxy Cured 'APA' Fluoroelastomers", showing that APA technology standard and low temperature polymer have volume swell and physical property retention similar to their conventional counterparts when aged in sour gasoline (PN180) at 60°C for 360 hrs, CM15A fuel at 60°C for 5,000 hours, and dry out properties after CM-15A fuel immersion. However, compared to their conventional technology counterparts, he said that APA technology polymers exhibit better compression set resistance at 200°C, slightly better low temperature TR-10 and Tg, and good fuel permeation resistance.

About DuPont Performance Elastomers

DuPont Performance Elastomers, a global supplier of specialty elastomers with European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, is a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont. The company is an industry leader in chlorinated and fluorinated elastomers, serving the automotive, chemical, petrochemical, semiconductor, food and pharmaceutical processing, construction, general rubber and wire and cable industries.

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