Tonawanda plant stands out globally

Buffalo: Corian capital of the world

October 10, 2013 Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

October 10, 2013 Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM EDT

Corian is not just for kitchens anymore!

Workers at Dupont, which invented Corian over 50 years ago, have transformed it into an engineered material. It's going from typical residential use in a kitchen to endless commercial possibilities. That's thanks to 600 workers at the Dupont Yerkes plant in Tonawanda, who are at the forefront of this innovation.

Dupont moved production of its Private Collection from South Korea to Tonawanda last year. Now the Rriver Road plant supplies North American and European markets.

Global R&D manager Rolf Weberg says the local plant is able to go from an idea stage to market very quickly. "The latest innovation coming out, deep color innovation, the first product of which is deep nocturne, was piloted here less than a year ago. And we are in the market today, for the last month," he said. "It's a very exciting time for us and we're going to keep that cadence going."

Dupont makes Corian in 200 colors. The design industry is using it for everything from exteriors on office buildings and sports stadiums to furniture, flooring, décor and more. They've even found a use for leftover scraps in landscaping.

Buffaloes made of Corian will be used at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the children's area. Weberg says Corian in becoming popular in the healthcare industry for many reasons, "Given the nonporous nature of Corian, the fact that we can seam it, it gives you a surface that doesn't promote or support the growth of mold mildew bacteria."

80 percent of the world's Corian is made right here in Western New York, making it the Corian capital of the world.

You can also read more about the Dupont Yerkes plant in this week's Business First.

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