16 Sept 2010
Dr Emmett Crawford received the 2010 SCI Gordon E Moore Medal for the invention of Eastman TritanTM Copolyester and leadership in the development and commercialisation of this new family of engineering plastics.
Dr Crawford’s innovations involved the development of a new monomer- 2,2,4,4-tetramethyl-1,3-cyclobutanediol (TMCD). Over the last two decades, there have been very few examples of the successful commercialisation of 'new to the world' polymer products derived from new monomers. The unique chemistry of TritanTMinvented by Dr Crawford provides a higher glass transition temperature (Tg) than traditional copolyesters, translating into superior heat resistance. In conjunction with the material’s exceptional chemical resistance, hydrolytic stability, and lower residual stress, higher heat resistance allows moulded products to withstand the harsh dishwasher environment without crazing, cracking or hazing from continual exposure to high heat, humidity, and aggressive cleaning detergents and sanitisers In addition, TritanTM is manufactured without bisphenol-A. This combination of properties makes the TritanTM family of materials well suited for packaging, house wares, and medical applications.
The TritanTMcopolyester family has enjoyed remarkable early commercial success. Other commercially successful polymers sold less than one-quarter of the amount of Eastman TritanTM in their first year. As further evidence of market impact of Dr Crawford’s advances in polymer science and engineering, nine companies have chosen to enter into ingredient brand licenses with Eastman. Backed by nearly 100 patent applications filed around the world, two new manufacturing plants have already been built.
Dr Crawford holds a BSc degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a PhD in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He jointed Eastman Chemical Company in 1999 as an Advanced Research Scientist. Author of many publications and presentations, Dr Crawford invites and inspires scientific debate and discussion among his colleagues within and outside Eastman.