2017 Nonwovens Sales: $1 billion
Marc Doyle, president, CEO specialty products division; Kevin Corby, global technology, director
Richmond, VA; Luxembourg
All plants are ISO 9002 certified including the Luxembourg facility
DuPont Tyvek, Typar
Construction, healthcare, protective apparel, industrial filtration, absorbents, home furnishings, envelopes, geotextiles, graphics, packaging, footwear, automotive
The big news from the maker of Tyvek flashspun nonwovens is DuPont’s announcement in June 2018 that it will invest more than $400 million to expand capacity of its flashspun Tyvek nonwoven material at its facility in Luxembourg. The production expansion, which will add a new building and a third operating line at the site, is scheduled to start up in 2021.
“Global demand for DuPont Tyvek continues to grow worldwide in all of our key end-use markets,” says Rose Lee, president—DuPont Safety & Construction. “This capacity expansion plan is a critical step in growing the Tyvek business, maintaining our leadership in nonwoven materials, and delivering the innovation customers expect from DuPont.”
DuPont developed Tyvek in 1967. Made of 100% high-density polyethylene that has enabled new dimensions of protection, security and safety in a wide variety of industries and applications, Tyvek is found in a number of key markets including building envelope solutions, protective garments, medical packaging and graphics and protective packaging.
Tyvek has had a tremendous impact across numerous industries, resulting in the creation of new categories of products, such as house wrap, which helped revolutionize home construction; setting new standards for personal protective apparel; enabling advancements in medical device technology; and playing an important role in many other applications. DuPont, along with its customers, continues to develop new Tyvek products and applications to meet evolving marketplace needs. Designers of consumer products for lighting and fashion accessories and apparel are increasingly demanding Tyvek for their products because of its lightweight durability and texture.
Known best for its role in the construction market where it remains an industry leader in the building wrap category, DuPont has received the Third Annual Builder Partnerships Partner of the Year award. This award is presented each year to a manufacturer for demonstrating excellence in supporting Builder Partnerships builder members and their overall base of builder customers. The award was presented during Builder Partnerships’ 13th Annual Networking Reception during the International Builders’ Show.
“In 2017, DuPont Tyvek has been innovative in its approach to placing technical resources in the field to ensure its products are supported where they need to be supported — on the job site,” vice president operations, Stepehn Crouch noted. “This type of support has been invaluable to our builder members as they work to increase efficiency and improve performance in the building process.”
And, DuPont continues to innovate and add to its Tyvek family of products. This year, the company launched DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System, the next generation of fluid applied air/water barriers in the portfolio of DuPont Building Envelope products. DuPont has taken the industry-leading performance of traditional DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied products and developed a DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System, combining superior air and water barrier and industry-leading vapor permeability, into a reformulated fluid-applied membrane for ease of use on most commercial substrates.
“This innovation is exciting for our customers who need longer open times in the field as well as a product that is much easier to spray on the wall,” states Tim Wilson, DuPont North America commercial marketing manager. “Our system approach allows installers to have a fluid applied membrane, a fluid applied flashing and joint compound, along with sealants that are all compatible and install seamlessly together in the field.”
DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System offers features not available elsewhere in the industry. Providing an ideal combination of air and water holdout, the reformulated innovation boasts some of the highest vapor permeability among the competition at 22Perms.
Another new product is DuPont Tyvek Protec roofing underlayments, which was launched in March. Tyvek Protec 120, Tyvek Protec 160 and Tyvek Protec 200 each offer increasing quality, durability, strength, warranty protection and UV resistance. The portfolio of products is suitable for use by professional roofing and exterior contractors in new construction or re-roofing projects as a secondary water barrier on steep-sloped roofs (2:12 or higher) under asphalt shingle, tile, metal, cedar or slate.
In addition to the 10-square synthetic rolls, the underlayments are available in a two-square roll size. The smaller rolls are now available as a solution to limit waste on new or re-roofing projects, and aid economical project estimations.
Jim Ash, global roofing market segment leader, DuPont Protection Solutions elaborates, “Tyvek Protec underlayments are lightweight and durable, making them an excellent secondary moisture layer that are easy to install. More importantly, their unique embossed top sheet helps with walkability and protects builders when encountering hazards like dirt and water on the roof. DuPont Tyvek Building Envelope Solutions provide for the greater good by not only helping to secure the home and what’s inside it, but by also helping to secure the safety of its installers.”
While construction continues to be the largest market for Tyvek globally, other markets like medical packaging, graphics and cargo covers continue to grow in importance. In July, DuPont announced a partnership with SkyCell, a Swiss-based manufacturer of temperature-controlled containers for food and pharmaceuticals to collaborate on technical and market development.
Both companies are global leaders in their respective fields and the partnership is expected to lead to transformational innovations in temperature monitoring, shipment tracking, asset management and ‘smart’ data-driven services. The combined effort is aimed at maintaining the physical and clinical integrity of pharmaceuticals in transit.
“DuPont is a firm believer in the potential of strategic alliances like this one where each party can leverage its respective strength for powerful solutions,” says Christian Marx, vice president and general manager of Tyvek and Typar. “There is a strong strategic fit between DuPont and SkyCell and we see this as an important step in complementing our Tyvek Cargo Covers offering and expanding our market capability with high-performance solutions for an increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical supply chain.”
The alliance will harness the strengths of two of the strongest names in the field of pharmaceutical cold chain to better define and meet the needs of customers around the world. Under the terms of the agreement DuPont will gain access to SkyCell’s remote temperature-management solutions and expertise and acquire marketing rights to the SkyCell portfolio of insulated shipping containers. The SkyCell containers will be marketed by DuPont alongside its Tyvek products enabling the market-leader in cargo covers to provide an unrivalled breadth of high-tech temperature-management solutions to discerning customers. SkyCell, on the other hand, will be in a position to tap into the renowned technical resource of DuPont and will benefit from the DuPont global network especially in emerging markets and the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are excited to be entering into the next stage of our journey by collaborating with DuPont Tyvek, a trusted provider of protection in pharmaceutical logistics,” says Richard Ettl, CEO of SkyCell. “With a shared vision of better leveraging data in the supply chain of sensitive pharmaceuticals, this partnership will help us play our part in ensuring that medicines, vaccines and other health-related treatments get to the final patients in a safe, sustainable and timely manner.”
For Greater Good is the promise of the DuPont Tyvek brand. DuPont Tyvek can provide the trusted protective barrier people need so they can worry less and focus on accomplishing bigger things – making the greater good possible.
Meanwhile in medical packaging, Tyvek completed a $30 million investment last year. Known as the company’s Medical Packaging Transition Project, the efforts not only modernized the technology for Tyvek used in medical packaging, it also allowed the company to create a strong foundation for growth within the medical packaging market. The project involved new line investments for its two main grades of Tyvek used in medical packaging to ensure greater continuity and flexibility of future products and the latest advancements in flash spinning technology.
As part of the project, DuPont developed a systematic method for generating data to prove that the Tyvek produced on the new line is functionally equivalent to previous versions of Tyvek. This helps mitigate regulator requalification and minimize costs to individual companies in the market.
The newly designed materials hit a major milestone at the beginning of commercialization in October 2015 when the Centers for Devices and Radiological Health at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed that the new grade of nonwovens was functionally equivalent.
In corporate news, DuPont merged with Dow to form DowDuPont in late 2017 creating one of the largest chemical specialty companies in the world. The next step for the newly merged company will be the formation of three spin-off companies, which will be independent and publicly traded. Each business—agriculture, material science and specialty products. DuPont’s nonwovens business, which is a part of the Safety & Protection division, is contained under the Specialty Products Company. This company, headquartered in Wilmington, DE, will become the new DuPont, reflecting the strength of its technology-driven specialty businesses with highly differentiated products and solutions that transform industries and everyday life.
“For more than 200 years, customers have looked to DuPont to help them turn their best ideas into real-world products,” says CEO Marc Doyle. “We are creating a premier innovation-driven specialty leader, drawing on expertise and assets from both heritage Dow and DuPont, which deliver the essential advances that our customers—and the world—need to thrive. We are deeply proud to have this company carry the DuPont name into the future.”
The division is expected to separate into its own stand-alone company by June 1, 2019.