Faced with a shortage of a critical resin used for everything from seat fabric to fuel tanks, as well as brake and fuel lines, automakers may turn to an unlikely ally, the Kansas firm best known for its Stainmaster carpets.
Wichita-based Invista, Inc., it turns out, is one of the world’s few manufacturers to have a surplus of a chemical called CDT – a primary ingredient needed to make resin PA-12. Also known as Nylon-12, it has been in increasingly short supply since a March explosion and fire killed two workers and put a factory in Germany out of action.
That plant, operated by supplier Evonik, is the primary source of both CDT and Nylon-12 for use in the auto industry. With supplies dwindling, automakers around the world face the prospect that many of their assembly lines could grind to a halt in the coming weeks.