DuPont today opened a new $130 million facility here to produce innovative nonwoven fabrics born from a revolutionary composite technology that provides users with advanced levels of both comfort and protection.
DuPont's proprietary Advanced Composite Technology (ACT) blends the ideal properties of two different raw materials to create nonwoven fabrics that meet specific needs. More than 20 new patents were developed for this technology.
The ACT's initial product is DuPont™ Suprel™, a highly protective and comfortable fabric used for hospital operating gowns and patient drapes. Suprel™ is the only medical fabric available that is made of polyester – for strength – and polyethylene – for silk-like softness. Traditional single-use medical fabrics can be uncomfortable, especially when they are worn for an extended time, and can lack the necessary fluid barrier for protecting today's healthcare professionals. Suprel™ has less surface friction than other medical fabric products, allowing for greater comfort and freedom of movement. It also transfers heat away from the body quickly, adding to comfort in the operating environment. Suprel™ is made from continuous filament fibers and is very low linting.
Using a market-focused approach as part of its research and development, DuPont researchers developed Suprel™ by working closely with operating room nurses who participated in comfort studies conducted at North Carolina State University.
"The composite fabric technology will allow us to create an array of fabrics in direct response to the evolving needs of the medical industry," said DuPont Nonwovens Global Business Director David Flitman. "Suprel™ is the first in a line of innovative products from DuPont that will raise the bar for standards of protection and comfort in medical fabrics."
The ACT facility is located at DuPont's Old Hickory manufacturing complex, near Nashville. A number of Tennessee public officials joined DuPont employees and leaders in today's opening.
"This newest investment of 110 jobs and $130 million in cutting-edge technology at Old Hickory continues DuPont's commitment to Tennessee," said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matthew Kisber. "Gov. (Phil) Bredesen and I are proud to see manufacturing investments like this in our state, producing high-quality products that are exported to customers around the world."
DuPont is the leading global supplier of nonwoven fabrics for the healthcare industry, and has set new standards of protection, convenience, and comfort for medical professionals for more than 25 years.
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