3GT is the generic name for a family of polymers based on 1,3 Propanediol (PDO).
DuPont Sorona is the most advanced polymer platform in DuPont's science portfolio. With more than six decades of continuous experience in polymers, DuPont has invented nearly 75 percent of the 40-plus major polymers commercially produced today.
DuPont will work with a limited number of partners to implement the technology to manufacture fibers from Sorona. To date, agreements are in place with DuPont's Dacron® polyester business in North America, DuPontSA in Europe, Saehan Industries in Korea, and Teijin Ltd. and Toray Industries Inc. in Japan. Other partners are expected to be announced in the coming months.
The company expects to have a commercial plant operational by October at its Kinston, N.C., site to produce Sorona polymer. Initial capacity will be 12,000 tons a year with the ability to expand to 50,000 tons a year at the same site.
«Our in-depth understanding of the unique properties of Sorona, combined with our knowledge and skill in partnering throughout the textile value chain gives DuPont competitive advantage,» said Ellen J. Kullman, DuPont group vice president and general manager. «We are committed to working with our customers to develop new products for their respective markets. This is an excellent example of how we continue to apply DuPont's integrated science expertise to key markets.»
Backing up this experience is a strong portfolio of patents and manufacturing know-how including fiber-grade PDO, polymerization, polymer additives, fiber spinning, fiber end-uses and recycling.
Fabric benefits from fibers made from Sorona polymers include improved fit and comfort, softness of touch, easy dyeability, and resilience and stretch recovery.
DuPont began working with 3GT polymers in the early 1940s and continued extensive research efforts in the 1960s and the early 1990s. The mid-1990s brought about renewed corporate interest with the availability of an economical source of 1, 3 Propanediol (PDO) when DuPont acquired Degussa-Huels' PDO technology in Wesseling, Germany. That process is now in commercial operation.
«We have extensive technology including the potential to produce PDO from corn starch or other low cost fermentable carbohydrates which are renewable sources,» explained Kullman. «A pilot plant for the corn-based process should be operational later this year and a commercial facility should be operational in 2003.»
DuPont operates in 65 countries and has 94,000 employees.
Sorona is a trademark of DuPont
Dacron® is a registered trademark of DuPont