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DU PONT INTRODUCES FIRST RECYCLABLE THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITE SHEET SYSTEM

DU PONT INTRODUCES FIRST RECYCLABLE THERMOPLASTIC COMPOSITE SHEET SYSTEM
 DETROIT, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Du Pont Automotive Products has introduced the first recyclable, thermoplastic composite sheet system for horizontal exterior body panels, offering significant weight and post-molding finishing advantages over thermoset sheet molding compound (SMC).
 Called "Du Pont XTC" thermoplastic composite sheet, the developmental technology was announced to the automotive industry today at a press conference at the 1992 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Congress & Exposition. Du Pont has been allowed a product and process patent for the technology.
 "As the first thermoplastic alternative to thermoset SMC exterior body panels, we believe Du Pont XTC comes at the right time," said John L. Von Wald, manager of new business initiatives for Du Pont Automotive Products. "The new technology will help the industry balance its needs for a composite body panel system that saves weight to boost fuel economy, lowers fabrication costs and meets emerging life cycle requirements for auto materials."
 Du Pont XTC offers numerous advantages over SMC, today's standard composite material used for horizontal exterior body panels.
 First, as a long-glass-reinforced PET polyester, Du Pont XTC is melt-recyclable. It can be reground and reused to minimize waste during production. Through a proprietary Du Pont polymer recovery process, it can be returned to its two, pure feedstock ingredients (DMT and ethylene glycol) for use in virtually any thermoplastic polyester application. Also, it can be used in waste-to-energy conversions since it is clean burning.
 Second, Du Pont XTC offers a 15 percent weight savings over SMC, which is key to helping automakers boost fuel economy. Yet, its flexural modulus and other physical properties will rival SMC for stiffness, hardness and impact resistance.
 Third, Du Pont XTC composite sheet is electrocoat capable, withstanding curing temperatures of 200 Celsius (392 Fahrenheit) for up to 30 minutes while maintaining dimensional stability. This allows body panels of Du Pont XTC to be cost effectively assembled, electrocoated and topcoated on existing assembly lines configured for steel panels.
 Fourth, the Du Pont material requires minimal post-finishing to achieve a Class A finish. SMC often requires sanding and refinishing to fix "paint pops" that are caused by continued chemical reactions in the compounded material due to the heat of the paint ovens.
 Fifth, total material and processing costs of Du Pont XTC composite sheet are comparable to SMC. The new Du Pont material requires minimal capital investment, since it can be molded on existing SMC equipment. In addition, it has an indefinite shelf-life, unlike SMC which typically is refrigerated once it is compounded.
 Du Pont XTC will be supplied to customers in a ready-to-use, easily shipped, roll form. Several layers of the flexible, porous, interwoven sheet of PET and glass fiber are stacked to create a flat platform, which is then heated.
 Du Pont XTC can be compression molded in 60 to 75 seconds into horizontal body panels, such as trunk lids, hoods and roofs. An in-mold coating is injected as the final step to ensure a Class A surface.
 A technical paper on the new Du Pont body panel technology will be presented at the SAE Congress by Gregory P. Weeks on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 3 p.m. in Room D3-28 of Cobo Center.
 With world headquarters in Troy, Mich., Du Pont Automotive Products offers more than 110 product lines to the worldwide auto industry, including plastics, elastomers, advanced composites, finishes, fibers, fabricated products, electronics, specialty chemicals and lubricants.
 Du Pont's worldwide automotive sales were $3 billion in 1991.
 -0- 2/24/92
 /CONTACT: Terrence Q. Cressy, 313-583-8102, or Megan A. O'Brien, 313-583-8199, both of Du Pont Automotive Products/ CO: Du Pont Automotive Products ST: Michigan IN: AUT CHM SU: PDT


SM-DC -- DE014 -- 1838 02/24/92 11:05 EST
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Date:Feb 24, 1992
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