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Triexta, A New Family High Performance Fiber from DuPont

Published on March 29, 2009 at 9:24 PM

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has determined that fibers made from PTT, the latest polymer innovation from DuPont, offer a unique combination of attributes which merit a new generic name, triexta. PTT polymer sold for the manufacture of triexta for apparel and flooring applications is sold under the DuPont™ Sorona® brand.

Triexta fibers provide a unique combination of exceptional durability and stain resistance compared to previously available fibers. The FTC based its decision on testing of residential carpets, which demonstrated that triexta significantly outperforms carpets made from polyester in resilience and durability.

Today's announcement is the latest development in the long tradition of DuPont innovation in materials science. DuPont shaped the polymer and fiber industry with the discovery and commercialization of well-known high performance fibers such as nylon, rayon, DuPont™ Kevlar® and Nomex®.

"The designation of the generic triexta is significant and further validates the importance of the superior performance and distinct attributes offered by Sorona®," said John P. Ranieri, vice president and general manager -- DuPont BioMaterials Group. "In addition to the performance advantages recognized by the FTC, Sorona® is made in part from renewably sourced ingredients. It is the most transformative polymer to be introduced into the fibers industry in the last 20 years."

DuPont began production and distribution of Sorona® through its global network in 2000. Fabrics made with Sorona® offer a unique combination of attributes that are perfect for today's busy lifestyles, including: exceptional durability and softness; built-in permanent stain and ultraviolet (UV) ray resistance and outstanding elasticity while resisting stretch and sag over time. Sorona® fabrics provide a carbon dioxide reduction of 30 percent while the Sorona® manufacturing process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 63 percent, compared to conventional nylon made from petroleum.

Fibers made from Sorona® are sold into a variety of markets including floorcovering, apparel and upholstery. Apparel manufacturers including Izod, Timberland, Calvin Klein Golf and Spun Bamboo® have incorporated fibers from Sorona® into their product lines. Automotive manufacturers also are developing Sorona® in carpeting, headliners and upholstery for auto interiors.

"Our dealers told us that the current generic was misleading to consumers, and that they found it difficult to clearly communicate the benefits of this different and superior product when it fell into the same category as traditional polyester products," said Jeff Lorberbaum, chairman and chief executive officer - Mohawk Industries. "We are thrilled with the FTC's ruling. Carpets with Triexta offer a true performance advantage to customers."

Since its launch in 2005, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer has been synonymous with exceptional durability, softness and permanent stain resistance that is engineered into the fiber and will never wear or wash off. This superior performance has been viewed by the flooring industry as different from any other fiber they have seen. Comments from floor covering dealers include:

  • Benjamin Davies, Special Effects/Garmar INC., North Carolina: "We have found that the PTT products have had a superior history as far as resilience and stain resistance as well as much softer hand in feel."
  • John P. Millar, Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring, New Jersey: "Forcing a fiber, with much better performance than polyester, to use the same name will limit consumer's ability to purchase the product. As a retailer with 12 locations, I am very interested in clearing up the confusion between the fibers mentioned above. Being in the industry for 40 years, there is a big difference between the fibers."

DuPont continues to grow the Sorona® business with the recent completion and start up of the new capacity expansion at Kinston, N.C. The facility, brought online in the fall of 2008, now is producing commercial product to support the growing global demand for Sorona® polymer.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

 

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