DuPont Performance Polymers Sponsors Nylon Exhibit at the University of Delaware
Advanced Material Helps Shape Everyday Consumer Products
WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 24, 2015 – DuPont Performance Polymers will help support the opening of an exhibit showing the inner workings of the invention and commercialization of nylon through the notes and legacy of Joseph Labovsky, a core member of the nylon discovery team.
Nylon, discovered by DuPont researcher Wallace H. Carothers, Ph.D., is the world's first true synthetic fiber. Since its first sales as a fiber in 1939 and its subsequent use as an engineering polymer primarily in the automotive and electrical and electronic markets, nylon turned out to be not only one of DuPont’s most profitable products, but also a product that changed the world.
Labovsky, whose oral history is available through the Chemical Heritage Foundation, worked alongside Carothers and has called the senior scientist his mentor. When Labovsky died in 2013, he donated part of his nylon legacy to the Delaware Academy of Chemical Sciences. The group worked with a team from the University of Delaware and DuPont to transform the findings into a 3-story exhibit that includes a mini museum, personal notes and several early applications of the product. The exhibit at the University of Delaware Lamont du Pont Laboratory in Wilmington, Del., opens Sept. 25.
“This is a great contribution by Joe Labovsky and a great opportunity to celebrate the people who discovered and commercialized nylon,” said Ed Adams, president of the Delaware Academy of Chemical Sciences. Adams also is a public affairs manager at DuPont.
“We are proud to help sponsor the opening of the exhibit, which allows people to explore the evolution of this material and experience how pervasively it impacts our lives,” said HH Wong, DuPont Performance Polymers Americas director. “Through the notes and the relationship between Labovsky and Carothers, we can see just how important mentoring is to personal growth and achievement.”
Nylon was invented by DuPont in 1935 and its use grew during WWII, when the U.S. government advised substituting plastics for metals wherever possible to support the war effort. In the 1950s, the polymer was trademarked DuPont™ Zytel® nylon and today is used to make a wide range of automotive components, such as air ducts, engine covers, charged air coolers, transmission components and radiator end tanks. In electrical and electronic systems, Zytel® nylon is widely used in enclosures, sockets, terminal blocks, circuit breakers, switches and relays.
DuPont is the largest, most globally networked nylon manufacturer focused on the engineering polymers market. With a high focus on quality and product consistency, DuPont manufactures a full range of PA66, PA6, PPA and Long Chain Polyamide (LCPA) resins in Europe, the Americas and Asia. DuPont owns and operates world-scale, continuous-polymerization assets for nylon in all three regions of the world and operates compounding sites in 13 countries to ensure local supply wherever customers are located.