Expansions: Toyochem constructs pilot facility for semi-conductor polymers in Japan; LG Chem breaks ground on CNT plant in South Korea

Toyochem constructs pilot facility for semi-conductor polymers in Japan

Toyochem Co., the polymer and coatings arm of Japan’s Toyo Ink Group, says that it has completed construction of a new polymer pilot facility at its Kawagoe Factory, a manufacturing complex located in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture in Japan. The new facility, which came online in April 2023, is engaged in the prototyping and medium-scale production of advanced polymers and their composites.

In the first-phase production line, Toyochem plans to manufacture condensation polymers that exhibit high heat resistance and high flexibility, properties needed to fulfill the very demanding requirements of today’s semiconductor components. Key applications include high heat resistant and flexible adhesive materials for high-speed communication components and functional adhesives for electric vehicles.

In line with its growth strategy, Toyochem, with the cooperation of its Polymer Materials Research Institute in Japan and the new facility, is expected to accelerate development of new products and related businesses needed to support its customer base now and well into the future.

“The Toyo Ink Group has a long track record of manufacturing polymers based on acrylics, urethanes, polyesters and their composites for use primarily in can coatings, adhesives, laminating adhesives and inks,” said Yasushi Ariyoshi, Division Director of the Polymer & Coating R&D Division at Toyochem.

In addition to serving as a model system for the trial production of new polymers, Toyochem’s facility is also being used to consolidate polymer pilot areas at Kawagoe and to accumulate data needed to enhance smart-factory initiatives incorporated at its manufacturing sites.

LG Chem breaks ground on CNT plant in South Korea

Meanwhile in other news, South Korean chemical firm LG Chem has broken ground on its fourth carbon nanotube (CNT) plant in South Korea, to more than double output of the key industrial material in the next few years.

The CNT 4 plant, to be located in LG Chem's Daesan complex, in Seosan, about 83 km away from Seoul, will boost the chemical company's total CNT production capacity to 6,100 tonnes by the time it goes into operation in 2025. The country's largest chemical firm's current output capacity is at 2,900 tonnes.

Carbon nanotube is a next-generation material that has electric and heat conductivity equivalent to copper and diamonds, with intensity 100 times that of steel.

Such properties make it particularly useful as an additive that helps the flow of electricity in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, allowing for more room to make the battery more powerful and last longer.

It is also applied to semiconductors, automobile parts and aircraft fuselages.

LG Chem has three CNT plants operating in Korea, with the latest CNT 3 plant in Yeosu, about 300 km southwest of Seoul, recently put into full operation.

The CNT output will be supplied to battery maker LG Energy Solution, LG Chem's subsidiary, and other clients alike, LG Chem said.

LG Chem is also supplying CNT-added coating plastics to Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors for use in the front fenders of some of its vehicle models.


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