E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American conglomerate founded in 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont is one of the world’s largest producers of chemicals and science-based products. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, DuPont is responsible for developing innovative materials such as Teflon, Mylar, Dacron, Lycra and Orlon. In August 2017, the company merged with Dow Chemical, forming a new company called DowDuPont (DWDP). DuPont continues to operate as a subsidiary.
Over the years, DuPont has acquired a number of companies that have helped grow its broad range of science-based products.
Danisco A/S is a Danish-based biotech company with a range of products for food production, pet food production, dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals. The company was formed in 1989 and acquired by DuPont in 2011 for $6.3 billion. The company specializes in producing enzymes used to preserve foods and make biofuels.
Danisco is one of the largest producers of the thickening agent guar gum and the gelling agent carrageenan, which adds texture and stability to dairy desserts, processed cheeses and jellies. The company claims that its ingredients are in much of the world’s ice cream. Danisco also develops many natural enzymes and antioxidants that preserve the shelf life of food worldwide.
Founded in 1926, DuPont Pioneer is a large U.S. producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture. The Iowa-based company is one of the largest producers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), specializing in genetically modified crops with insect or herbicide resistance. DuPont acquired the seed company for $7.7 billion in 1999.
Pioneer produces, markets and sells hybrid seed corn, sorghum, sunflower, cotton, soybean, alfalfa, canola, rice, wheat and other seeds in more than 90 countries.
Created by DuPont scientists in 1967, Corian is the brand name for a solid surface material marketed by DuPont primarily as a countertop and is composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. Along with DuPont’s similar solid surface material Zodiaq quartz, Corian is used in the residential and commercial design industries, as well as food service and health care.
The durable products have many applications because they can be designed and cut to order. Common uses for Corian include public bathroom stalls, office partitions and kitchen countertops.
Tyvek is a synthetic material developed and marketed by DuPont. The strong material is primarily used as a house wrap that protects buildings during construction. The material allows water vapor to pass through while blocking liquids. It also provides buildings with additional insulation and resists wood rot and mold growth. DuPont trademarked the material in 1965 and began selling Tyvek in 1967.
Tyvek is also used in protective shipping envelopes and in a line of protective apparel for industrial workers that includes laboratory coats and coveralls. It is often used for light hazmat applications, such as asbestos and radiation work. Tyvek's sub-brand Tychem is rated for a higher level of liquid protection from chemicals.
Developed by DuPont in 1965, Kevlar was first commercially used in the 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires. The high-strength material is typically spun into ropes or fabric sheets. Its applications include body armor, racing sails, drum heads, and fiber optic cables. Due to its high tensile strength-to-weight ratio, it is considered to be five times stronger than steel.
Kevlar is used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as tires, socks and shoes, sports equipment and mobile phone cases. While it has many other applications, Kevlar is best known for its use in ballistic and stab-resistant body armor for law enforcement and the military around the world.