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News

Innovative egg cup wins DuPont Imagineering 2004 award in the UK

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 19 July, 2004  (Company News)
A safety-oriented egg-boiling kit, comprising a submersible egg cup and hook-knife which allows the user to boil the egg in the cup, has won first prize in the DuPont Imagineering 2004 Awards.

The Pop-it, by William-Johann Litherland and James Kennedy from the University of Teesside, impressed the judges by offering a creative solution to a problem while using a novel and simple design. Second and third prizes went to a domestic light-fitting adapter and a replacement for a standard drawing pin respectively. The theme of this year's competition was "Comfort and Functionality at Home".

By winning the UK final, William and James' project will go on to contest the international finals of Imagineering, to be held at K 2004 (Dusseldorf, Germany) in October 2004.

The winner was a unaminous decision

Pop-it (in the pan) is a safety-oriented egg-boiling kit, comprising a submersible egg cup and hook-knife which allows the user to boil the egg in the cup - eliminating the problem of transferring the egg from boiling water to the cup. The multifunctional hook-knife can be used to both fish the egg cup from the pan as well as to prepare the egg for consumption. The egg cup is made of DuPont Zytel nylon resins due to the material's capability to withstand high temperatures, including boiling water, good flex strength and creep resistance. The material chosen for the hook-knife is DuPont Delrin acetal resin with its outstanding strength, stiffness and dimensional stability. Both materials comply with European regulations on suitability for contact with food. The project received unanimous praise from the judges as it met most criteria of the competition: creativity, feasibility and functionality, ease of manufacture and overall presentation.

Second prize for innovation and technical presentation

The Bulb Buddy, a project submitted by Michael Crinnion, won second prize and EUR3000 for the student from Huddersfield University. It is a domestic light-fitting adapter allowing the use of both bayonet and screw-fit bulbs in a single light socket. As an additional benefit, the Bulb Buddy glows in the dark to improve visibility when changing the bulb. Innovation and the detail given to the engineering and technical presentation impressed the judges. Michael chose DuPont Hytrel thermoplastic polyester elastomer for all injection-moulded parts of the adapter. Reasons for material selection included heat and electrical resistance, flexibility of the parts and chemical tolerance. DuPont noted, however, that some of its other materials may be better-suited for this application.

Safety features in third-placed entry

The Griptack, which won third prize (EUR2000) and was submitted by Matt Farina from Huddersfield University, is a replacement for a standard drawing pin which tacks documents to boards without punching a hole in the paper. Anthropometrically designed for easy-usage, the absence of a sharp pin-point reduces the risk of accident to the user. The entire component is injection-moulded with DuPont Delrin acetal resin. Bridging the gap between metal and plastic, the properties of Delrin, such as stiffness and fatigue resistance, make the material more suitable than standard polymer alternatives such as polypropylene.

Work experience for winners

Chairman of the jury and director of Hi-Technology Group, Richard Brown, noted, "With over 60 entries to choose from, our task to select the winners was hard but very enjoyable. It was an interesting and positive insight into the creativity and imagination of young designers in the UK."

Other jury members were Dean Palmer, editor of Eureka magazine, Robert Woolston, managing director of DCA Design International, Alun Wilcox, head of medical at PDD Limited and Mark Hazel, design specialist at DuPont Engineering Polymers. Apart from the prize money, the Imagineering winners will receive the opportunity to spend some time in the design departments of the Hi-Technology Group, PDD Limited, DCA Design International and DuPont - DuPont would like to thank each of the companies for their co-operation. This offer is in recognition of the fact that work experience can be of as much value as prize money.

The Imagineering competition

The DuPont Imagineering design competition was established to encourage students and recently graduated designers in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa to find new and innovative applications for engineering polymers and to emphasise the connection between creativity and technology. For its 2003-2004 edition, the Imagineering Awards took on a new, international dimension - involving Asia for the first time with local competitions in China, Hong Kong and Japan. The theme was "Comfort and functionality at home": participants were invited to take a new and creative look at how life at home could be improved - whether providing greater comfort or being more practical, through the design of a new product.


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