Eastman Hosts Student Design Program, Launches Medical-Grade Polymers, and Announces Financial Results

CP 50 company navigates the economy and gives students much-needed experience.

1 of 2 < 1 | 2 View on one page

Eastman Chemical Co. gives students a chance to display their talents.

Indeed, the Kingsport, Tenn.-based manufacturer of more than 1,200 chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide recently teamed with the Department of Industrial Design at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., to host a retail design program in which students researched real-world design challenges and developed cutting-edge displays. The goal: Get students enthused about Eastman Chemical products in hopes that they will remember the positive experience when they are a part of the workforce in the near future.

The students’ final designs included displays for DVDs, coffee, linens and an overhead “skyline” fixture for self check-out kiosks. The semester-long project was documented by the students in a dedicated blog (http://eastmanau2008.blogspot.com), which features their research findings and final concepts and serves as a resource to the larger design community.

Students experimented with the properties and design flexibility of Eastman Spectar copolyester. Guided by Eastman’s engineers, they learned about thermoforming, heating, freezing, bending and decorating Spectar.

Eastman Chemical design contest
Eastman Chemical provided students
an opportunity to design products using
the company's Spectar polymers.


“The students of today are the designers of tomorrow, and they will shape the future of innovative retail environments,” says Adia Delaney-Jackson, Market Development Manager for Visual Merchandising at Eastman Chemical Co. “Providing students the opportunity to exercise their creativity with Spectar represents our commitment to sharing our material expertise with designers who play an increasingly vital role to creating cutting edge retail environments.”

Adding to its polymers lineup, Eastman recently launched a family of Tritan medical-grade polymers for the medical device industry.

Medical grades of Eastman Tritan copolyester provide lipid and chemical resistance; higher heat stability; easy processing; long-term clarity; added durability and toughness; and are made without bisphenol-A (BPA) or halogens.

“Eastman Chemical Co. has supplied a wide range of materials to medical customers for more than 65 years,” said Helen Sirett, medical business segment manager, Eastman Chemical Co. “Based upon our industry understanding, we are confident that the launch of Eastman Tritan copolyester will provide customers with a high-quality product that provides processing and performance advantages over heritage copolyesters, polycarbonates and acrylics.”

The new medical grades of Eastman Tritan copolyester are said to be well-suited for a variety of medical-device applications that demand chemical resistance, clarity, hydrolytic stability and retention of properties after gamma, electron beam (E-beam) and ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization. Additionally, Tritan provides protection against the negative effects of common materials that can lead to environmental stress cracking and deterioration in medical environments. Possible application options include IV system components, respiratory devices, blood therapy devices, and infant-care products.

In fact, Pembroke, Mass.-based Hawaii Medical recently introduced its Gumdrop Pacifier made with Eastman Tritan copolyester.

“To meet the demand for lightweight, low-profile silicone pacifiers, we needed a material that had design flexibility and could be processed easily to fit the requirements for our preemie and newborn pacifier product line,” said Read McCarty, president and CEO of Hawaii Medical.

The GumDrop pacifier is designed with a rigid plastic guard, made from the new copolyester, and is completely overmolded with silicone. The overmolding process creates a single-body construction that won’t separate.

1 of 2 < 1 | 2 View on one page
Show Comments
Hide Comments

Join the discussion

We welcome your thoughtful comments.
All comments will display your user name.

Want to participate in the discussion?

Register for free

Log in for complete access.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments