The Road to Automotive Innovation

Increased fuel economy lower emissions and improved performance and safety.

More than three billion vehicles will crowd the highways by 2035, placing unprecedented pressures on limited fossil fuel resources and creating more demand for automotive innovation. Today’s automotive design professionals must resolve competing needs: increase fuel economy, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve performance, safety, and comfort — all while lowering costs. With more than 100 high-performance materials and products and integrated global vehicle-system application development teams, DuPont is committed to helping the automotive industry succeed. 

Our focus on eight themes guides the development of automotive innovation through science-driven solutions. 


As one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 20 years ago, DuPont understands that the drive to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions is paramount. DuPont offers the broadest range of materials derived from renewable sources and continues its commitment to developing lower-global-warming-potential automotive refrigerants. 

Renewably Sourced™ Materials: Today, many plastics and fibers can be made from renewably sourced materials and DuPont has aggressive development programs to provide fuel and other fluids. These materials contain a minimum of 20 % renewable ingredients by weight and  —  most importantly  —  deliver performance equal to or better than oil-based products. 

Air Conditioning: With zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of 4, DuPont™ Opteon™ yf refrigerant is the next-generation refrigerant that meets the EU Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) directive. Its minor system redesign makes it cost-efficient for existing vehicles to switch over. 

Sustainable Coatings: DuPont offers a wide variety of waterborne and solvent-reduced liquid paint systems, which shorten the process time, thus reducing waste and energy. We are the leading supplier of VOC-compliant refinish systems. 

Alternative Drive

Our hybrid, battery, and fuel cell solutions improve energy density, storage, safety and motor insulation.

Battery Pack Cells and Structures: DuPont separators for high-performance lithium ion batteries can boost power by 15% to 30%. For next-generation battery manufacturers, DuPont seals can help reduce the cost of manufacturing in electrolyte handling processes. 

Electric Motor: DuPont has an unmatched portfolio for electrical insulation.  Our resins, paper laminates, polyimide films and fluoropolymers carefully isolate wires and components and increase protection inside a harsh vehicle operating environment. 

Higher-Voltage Environments: DuPont resins have comparative tracking indices above 600 volts to help prevent electrical arcs and sparks in connectors. These resins can be used for inverters and power cable connectors linking the battery to the inverter to the motor. 


Reducing weight in all areas of the vehicle is critical to improving fuel economy and reducing emissions and is an area ripe for automotive innovation. Today’s engines run hotter and use more aggressive coolants that challenge the limits of traditional plastics. DuPont offers longer-life, high-temperature, chemically resistant materials including elastomers, resins and reinforcement technologies to help automakers avoid going back to costly, heavier metals and to further replace metal. 

Underhood and engine components that are candidates for lightweighting include: charge air coolers, exhaust mufflers, turbo air ducts, engine mounts, resonators, cylinder head covers, oil pans, exhaust-gas-recirculation (EGR) coolers, oil modules, thermostats, transmission components (such as front covers), and radiator end tanks, where calcium chloride resistance is especially important due to road treatments.

Improved Performance

DuPont materials improve the durability and reliability of mechanical and electrical components, with noted success in these areas. 

Reinforced Auto Hoses: Reinforcement materials made of DuPont aramid fiber can offer more strength, more thermal stability, and more chemical resistance than other materials typically used in hoses. 

Air Springs in Suspension Systems: DuPont™ Kevlar® is an excellent material to use in designing a thin-wall, high-pressure air-spring suspension system that weighs less and is five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis, helps deliver high responsiveness, and leads to improved driving comfort.

Oxygen Sensors: DuPont has partnered with leading component manufacturers to develop oxygen sensors, which are capable of reducing hydrocarbon (CnHn), carbonmonoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 99%.  The sensor can be attached to the exhaust manifold of every car manufactured today. Its most critical components are coated and protected by DuPont fluoropolymers, which enable the sensor to work in the toughest, hottest areas of the exhaust system.

High-Temperature Applications in Harsh Environments: When used inside the engine and out, and near the exhaust system, DuPont fluoropolymers retain their properties, even after exposure to temperatures that destroy nearly all other thermoplastics and elastomers. They can withstand temperatures from - 200°C to +260°C and above. 

Powertrain Efficiency

With a driving need to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy, every powertrain system becomes a candidate for automotive innovation around improved efficiency. Our materials reduce weight and frictional loss and extend the life of components, all of which help make the powertrain more efficient. 

We offer materials that allow engineers to get more power to the wheels. Our high-performance products DuPont™ Krytox® synthetic lubricant and DuPont™ Vespel® parts protect moving parts from wear and significantly reduce frictional loss. Our high-performance materials, such as DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber, DuPont™ Nomex® fiber, DuPont™ Zytel® resin, DuPont™ Vamac® elastomer, and DuPont™ Viton® synthetic rubber help increase the utilization of turbocharging systems, exhaust gas recirculation, and start-stop technology.

Air Ducts and Air-Induction Systems: Optimizing airflow is critical to improving engine efficiency. DuPont offers 25 high-performance thermoplastics and elastomers that can replace traditional metal and rubber components. For more than 20 years, DuPont has helped global air induction management teams design for tight under-hood packaging constraints, using DuPont materials to reduce part count, up to 50% of weight, and up to 30% of costs. 

Total System Cost

DuPont offers materials that help automakers increase productivity, shorten process time, and reduce the total cost of application. 

Automotive Lighting: DuPont™ Crastin® PBT thermoplastic resin delivers up to 40% cost savings over traditional manufacturing methods. A combination of new grades and innovative manufacturing techniques enables direct metallization of automotive headlamp bezels. 

2K Molding Technology: With DuPont 2K molding technology, automakers can produce integrated parts through the primerless combination of different materials, while increasing automation and lowering production cycle time. 2K parts made from DuPont materials remain durable after heat and hot-oil aging. 

Compressed Coating Systems: Using the DuPont Compressed Coating System, the primer layer can be eliminated and the basecoat/clearcoat can be applied directly on the baked electrocoat layer. This reduces energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, solvent use, and system costs.


Our benchmarked safety materials for passengers and auto employees have proven reliable for decades.

Safety Restraint Systems: DuPont plastics have superior impact strength and elongation. They can replace metal parts, reducing weight 20% to 50%, and they meet all global OEM formaldehyde limits. 

Safety and Security: For high-security passenger needs, DuPont™ SentryGlas®  ionoplast interlayer offers lighter and more durable automotive glazing solutions. DuPont™ Kevlar® aramid fiber delivers excellent ballistic performance against a range of threats. 

Worker Protection: For automotive body shops and assembly lines, apparel such as coveralls made from  DuPont™ Tyvek® spun olefin  and gloves made with DuPont™ Kevlar® fibers  are a cost-effective solution that helps reduce injuries from cuts, abrasion and punctures, and offers heat protection.

Comfort and Design

Fuel economy and cost may rank high in the buying decision, yet people still want stylish, comfortable vehicles. We help automotive designers meet this need while maintaining their vehicle design vision. 

Color Design: DuPont Performance Coatings offers a huge range of colors, effects, gloss levels and textures. Drawing on trends in global color preferences, we can provide customized solutions and color guidance. 

Wear & Tear: DuPont™ Teflon® fabric protector can be applied to seats, rugs, and ceilings to repel water, resist staining and protect the vehicle design. Not only is fabric life extended, so is the driver’s enjoyment.

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness Reduction: DuPont™ Krytox lubricants are non-toxic, odorless lubricants  that eliminate interior and exterior squeaks, rattles, creaks and sticking, leading to enhanced passenger perception of quality. 

LED Lighting Systems: Available in amber and black, our high-performance flexible substrates offer automakers a stylish lighting solution with high- temperature resistance and color stability. 

As scientists and engineers, we’re problem solvers at heart and dedicated to automotive innovation. We explore every aspect of the vehicle, looking for things to improve. Tell us your challenges, and together we will create innovative automotive solutions that benefit consumers and the planet.