News Releases 2005

New Hose Indicates Temperature with Hue Change

June 23, 2005
Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.
(The Kuraray Group)

The thermosensitive hose

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka; President: Katsuhiko Kishi) has announced the development of the thermosensitive hose that changes hue according to the temperature of the liquid flowing within it. The new hose will go on sale July 11 (patent pending). The use of this hose will make possible the routine and easy monitoring of liquids as they flow through hoses, which in turn will facilitate highly safe process control. In addition, the color-change allows operators to avoid prolonged exposure of the hose to temperatures outside its recommended temperature range, preventing damage to the hose.

The coil stiffener of this hose uses a fiber containing a special material that changes hue in reaction to temperature change, a fiber Kuraray Plastics developed jointly with The Pilot Ink Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Nagoya; President: Kenichi Nakasuji), the leading firm in the field of thermosensitive materials. Because the thermosensitive material is colored by mixing the three primary colors, it can display virtually any hue from white to black. The thermosensitivity is functional at temperatures ranging from -10℃ to 60℃, within the range of ordinary manufacturing processes. The hose is designed to change hue when the temperature reaches 0.5℃ above or below its set range.

Varying hue and color allows a number of settings. For instance, a hose that would change colors at 40℃ to indicate the existence of an abnormal condition would behave as follows.

  • (1) Purple at normal temperatures of up to 40℃.
  • (2) Change to red at temperatures of 40℃ or above.

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd. is working to develop applications and foster demand from various processing, manufacturing, and agricultural industries in which strict temperature control is needed. The Company is also moving ahead with joint product planning and development to precisely match user requirements.

The thermosensitive hose

1. Characteristics

a. Highly safe
The Pilot Ink Co., Ltd. uses the same thermosensitive material in toys for babies, and it is a highly safe material under the provisions of the Food Sanitation Law.
b. Compatible with a broad range of hose materials
Can be used with any resin commonly used to make hoses. These include polyvinyl chloride, urethane, polypropylene, and the thermoplastic resins HYBRAR and SEPTON.
c. When used indoors, thermosensitivity is semipermanent
If used outside and exposed to sunlight, over the long term its thermosensitive color changing properties will degrade. Can be used indoors semipermanently.

2. Specifications

Standard sizes: 19 to 50mmφ

3. Price

Standard hose price plus 20 to 30%

4. Sales targets

First year: ¥50 million
After three years: ¥300 million

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.

Headquarters 1-12-39, Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8611, Japan (Shin-Hankyu Building 9F)
President Katsuhiko Kishi
Capital ¥180 million
Number of employees 200
Business Manufacturing, processing, and sale of rubber and plastic hoses and molded products, water and sewage pipes, laminated products, functional coating products, and SEPTON compounds and molded materials.