Eastman
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Eastar™ Copolyester Lends Outstanding Chemical Resistance, Toughness, Clarity to New Dirt Devil Mop Vac

Royal Appliance Mfg. Co., maker of Dirt Devil floor care products (Cleveland, Ohio), has introduced the lightweight, cordless and rechargeable Dirt Devil Mop Vac, with a key component made of Eastar™ copolyester produced by Eastman Chemical Company (Kingsport, Tenn.).

The new Mop Vac eliminates the fuss and mess of mopping floors. Users release cleaning solution onto the floor, then scrub the area with the unit's sponge mop head. The Mop Vac's powerful vacuum squeegee sucks up the dirty cleaning solution in seconds and stores it in the high-performance, crystal-clear recovery tank made of Eastar™ copolyester. Floors are left clean, dry and streak-free.

Dirt Devil Mop Vac"The Mop Vac is a new product for us, and one that is unique in its approach to floor cleaning. Unlike other products that are limited to cleaning carpets, the Mop Vac was designed for quick and easy mopping of tile, linoleum and hardwood flooring. We needed a clear plastic for the recovery tank that would be resistant to the broader range of chemicals used on these types of surfaces," said Terry Zahuranec, lead product engineer for the Dirt Devil Mop Vac.

To select the best plastic for the part, Dirt Devil subjected various clear resins to solution testing to determine how well they would perform in actual use. "The pine-based cleaners and oil soaps typically used to clean kitchen floors are especially tough on plastics. Solution testing demonstrated that Eastar™ copolyester was more chemical resistant than other materials available to us," explained Zahuranec.

Chemicals used in common household cleaning solutions can attack plastics and, over time, may create a frosted appearance on a clear part. That frosted look is the result of tiny hairline cracks in the plastic. Once the material has deteriorated in this way, stress or impact during use can result in breakage. The physical attributes of Eastar™ copolyesters--outstanding chemical resistance, clarity and impact strength--ensure clear floor care components will remain clear and free of haze, crazing or cracking through years of use.

Eastman's Appliance Market Segment offers a number of resins that meet the cost, design and manufacturing objectives of the highly competitive floor care industry and satisfy performance requirements. Eastman™ products that can meet these needs include Eastar™ copolyesters, Tenite™ polyethylene and Tenite™ cellulosics. These materials are suited for clear and tinted injection-molded components.

"When Eastman is part of the product design team, we can assist manufacturers with honing in on the optimum material for their application," explained Doris Hobbs, business market manager for Eastman.

Dirt Devil is a subsidiary of Royal Appliance Mfg. Co. (NYSE:RAM), which designs, assembles and markets a full line of vacuum cleaners for home and commercial use under the Dirt Devil and Royal brand names.

Eastman Chemical Company, headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, U.S.A., manufactures and markets plastics, chemicals and fibers worldwide with 1997 sales of US$4.68 billion. The quality systems of all Eastman™ plastics are registered under ISO 9000 except at plants in operation less than one year.

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