A product invented by Delphi Automotive Systems' (NYSE: DPH) scientists has been recognized as one of the 100 most technologically significant products and processes of the year by R&D Magazine. The publication has selected Delphi as a 2000 R&D 100 Award recipient for its development of Thermoplastic Elastomer Intumescent Fire Shield.

The inventors, Ismat A. Abu-Isa, research fellow, and Craig B. Jaynes, staff scientist, from Delphi Research Labs, hold two patents and two patents pending on the invention.

The intumescent fire shield material is made of thermoplastic elastomer, a substance resembling rubber, and can be formed by conventional plastic techniques such as extrusion, injection molding or vacuum forming. When exposed to fire the material swells to form a ceramic-like foam that acts as an effective thermal and fire shield, and maintains its physical attributes without melting or burning even after long exposure to intense heat and flames.

The recyclable product was invented to protect flammable objects from flames and decomposition due to high temperatures in automotive applications. The material can be used to make individual functional parts or as a protective layer over parts made of other materials.

In addition to automotive applications, the material can be used in residential or industrial buildings to help contain fires, slow down flame spread and protect structural beams from softening by high temperatures. For example, the inventors suggest the material could be used over walls, ceilings or floors of industrial test cells or laboratories, or on walls, ceilings, floors and inside doors to protect homes from furnace or kitchen fires.

"We are very honored that R&D Magazine has selected Delphi for this award again in 2000," said Dr. Andrew Brown Jr., director of Engineering for Delphi."The ingenuity of this product is a strong example of the intellectual capability of Delphi's scientists and engineers."

Delphi, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, were recipients of the 1999 R&D 100 Award for their joint work in developing PREDICT (Performance and Reliability Evaluation with Diverse Information Combination and Tracking). PREDICT is a set of formal, structured techniques and processes which help to estimate the performance of a product when test data are sparse or nonexistent. PREDICT's calculations guide product development before, during and after prototyping.

R&D Magazine established the R&D 100 Award in 1963 to recognize technological advancements that organizations, research institutions and universities make to enhance everyday life.

Abu-Isa is a resident of Rochester Hills, Mich. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in chemistry from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Jaynes is a resident of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He has received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and psychology from the University of Michigan. In addition, he completed the degree requirements for a bachelor's degree in biophysics.

Multi-national Delphi Automotive Systems, with headquarters in Troy, Mich., USA, Paris, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a world leader in mobile electronics and transportation components and systems technology. Delphi's three business sectors -- Dynamics & Propulsion; Safety, Thermal & Electrical Architecture; and Electronics & Mobile Communication -- provide comprehensive product solutions to complex customer needs. Delphi has approximately 216,000 employees and operates 179 wholly owned manufacturing sites, 41 joint ventures, 53 customer centers and sales offices and 31 technical centers in 39 countries. Delphi can be found on the Internet at www.delphiauto.com.