Material Synthesis Technology
Organic Synthesis Technology
EPDM rubber, a material with excellent heat resistance and weatherability, is commonly used to make auto parts. EPDM uses ENB (5-ethylidene-2-norbornene) as the third monomer. In Japan and the US alone, operations based on our proprietary technology produce some 62,000 tons of ENB per year, which represents the top share of the global market. Through our work on this ENB manufacturing technology, we have gained valuable reaction control technology and know-how in olefin production. We've built on this technology to develop a variety of new monomers in recent years.
Examples include THI-DE, a new low-viscosity alicyclic epoxy compound, and a new dianhydride that can be used with a polyimide to produce a transparent film with high heat resistance. Compounds with alicyclic structures have useful properties such as transparency, high reactivity, and high heat resistance, and we're working to develop new products that make the most of them.
High Heat-Resistant Resin Compounding Technology
We developed a new high heat-resistant thermosetting resin by combining alicyclic epoxide created using our own organic synthesis technology with our resin compounding technology. Our thermosetting resin shows much higher heat resistance (high glass transition temperature over 250°C) than resins that rely on conventional curing systems (phenolic, cationic). And because it also has low viscosity, it can be compounded with large amounts of fillers, and shows a low linear expansion coefficient over a broad range of temperatures. We think these useful features would make the resin an excellent choice for an encapsulant for semiconductors and an array of other applications.
High Wear-resistant Polymer Design Technology
More and more, plastics are being used to make parts instead of metals, to save weight and for other reasons. Using our own polymer design technology, we developed a new polymer with properties superior to those of polyether ether ketone (PEEK). This new polymer has outstanding heat resistance, slidability, and impact strength, plus a low linear coefficient of thermal expansion, and we believe it could replace metals as a material for gears, ball bearings, and plain bearings. With properties that surpass those of existing polymers, it could be used to make plastic parts that outperform those made using current materials. And because it is a crystalline thermoplastic resin, it can be used to manufacture parts by extrusion or injection molding.
Most elastomers are either a vulcanized rubber or a thermoplastic elastomer. A vulcanized rubber will deform under a continuously applied force, but tends to return to its original shape when the force is removed (high elastic recovery). Molding with these rubbers, however, is a slow process. Conversely, thermoplastic elastomers are easy to mold with, but unlike vulcanized rubber, they do not exhibit good recovery after deformation. Applying the latest techniques in polymer design to elastomers, we developed a new thermoplastic elastomer that achieves both high moldability and high elastic recovery (ENEOS rubber Jelatic®). This new elastomer shows elastic recovery equal to that of vulcanized rubber, has properties that make it excellent for injection/extrusion molding, and is available in a wide range of hardnesses.