kuraray


News Releases 2006

Heat-Resistant Polyamide Resin GENESTAR Manufacturing Structure Enhancement

October 26, 2006
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Developed through proprietary Kuraray technologies, GENESTAR is a polyamide resin that demonstrates superior heat resistance. Since its commercialization in 1999, the application of GENESTAR has steadily expanded, growing mainly in the electric and electronic fields. Based on this success, and leveraging GENESTAR's unique characteristics, Kuraray now seeks to expand its adoption into the auto components field and other new sectors.

In order to meet increased future demand, Kuraray has made the decision to substantially enhance its manufacturing structure, expanding the current production facilities of GENESTAR resin and nonanediamine, a major raw material monomer of GENESTAR.

GENESTAR is a new polyamide resin (PA9T) that uses the world's first industrialized nonanediamine (diamine with a carbon number of nine), made possible by Kuraray. Owing to its unique aromatic ring and aliphatic chemical structure GENESTAR is characterized as a semi-aromatic polyamide that exhibits superior heat resistance, low water absorbency, low traction and chemical resistance properties.

In recent years with the strengthening of environmental regulations such as the European RoHS Directive, the advancement toward lead-free processes in the electric and electronic fields has accelerated. Correspondingly, demand for GENESTAR as a highly heat-resistant material for use in surface mounting technology (SMT), which is applied in the production of connectors for mobile telephones, personal computers and smart media, has grown dramatically. In addition, Kuraray looks forward to the adoption of GENESTAR based on its highly sought-after heat resistance and tractionless properties for application in bearing retainers, fuel piping and radiator components in the automotive field.

As Kuraray prepares for this increase in demand, it is taking steps toward streamlining its current resin manufacturing facilities, affecting an increase in annual production capacity from 4,500 tons to 5,500 tons by August 2007. Furthermore, in anticipation of significant market growth, Kuraray has invested in the expansion of resin and raw material monomer facilities to achieve an overall annual production capacity of 12,500 tons by 2010.

Outline of Manufacturing Structure Enhancement

(1) Production capacity

  Plant Current
capacity
After streamlining
August 2007
Expansion (Stage 1)
August 2008 operation
Expansion (Stage 2)
2010 operation
Resin PA9T Kuraray Saijo 4,500 5,500 5,500 5,500
Kashima Plant     5,500 5,500
      1,500
Total 4,500 5,500 11,000 12,500
Monomer nonane-
diamine
Kashima Plant 3,000 3,000 (Pause in production)  
    7,000 7,000
Total 3,000 3,000 7,000 7,000

(2) Investment amount

Approximately ¥10 billion (monomer ¥8 billion/resin ¥2 billion)

GENESTAR Characteristics

(1) High heat resistance
Superior heat stability with high melting point of 306℃. Solder heat resistance up to 270℃.
(2) Low water absorbency
Lowest water absorbency among polyamides; superior resistance to dimensional changes and mechanical property deterioration from water absorption
*The foregoing characteristics prevent blistering during surface mounting
(3) Low traction
Highly resistant to abrasion, realizing superior slide
(4) Excellent properties for molding
Thin wall mounting possible due to high liquidity; high crystallinity allows for speed molding

GENESTAR Target Fields (*Underlined items are future target fields)

(1) Electric and electronic fields

Connector applications Increased adoption of GENESTAR for its thermal stability (260℃ and over) in reflow processing, in line with the spread of SMT (surface mounting technology: soldering technology used to mount electronic components to the surface of printed circuit boards) and the development of lead-free soldering
LED reflectors Expanded adoption as side view LED (light emitting diode) reflectors used in light sources for mobile telephone displays. Promoting development for future adoption in top-view LEDs.
Electric auto components Advancing application development by making the most of superior anti-tracking properties (insulation capabilities) for use in electronic components contained in automotive ECUs (electronic control units).

(2) Automotive field

Slide components Development of applications targeting bearing retainers and various types of gears by making the most of GENESTAR's low traction, heat resistance and dimensional stability.
Fuel-related components Development of applications targeting fuel rotation piping, leveraging heat resistance and fuel barrier properties.
Radiator components Application development for radiator hoses employing heat and chemical resistance properties.

Chemical Structure of GENESTAR

1) GENESTAR target markets in the electric and electronics fields (heat-resistant resin demand)

2) Comparison of GENESTAR and competitive materials

Performance   GENESTAR PA6T PA46 PPS LCP
Heatresistance Lead solder
Lead-free solder
Strength
Moldability (liquidity)

3) Explanation of terms

*1 RoHS Directive
The EU RoHS directive stands for "Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment." It was officially announced and put into effect on February 13, 2003. Effective from July 1, 2006, this directive bans the placing on the market of new electrical and electronic equipment containing more than the agreed levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. Its overall aim is to prevent the harmful effects on people and the environment from the treatment of electric and electronic waste products.
*2 SMT (surface mounting technology)
Soldering method whereby LSI chips and other electronic components are directly mounted to the surface of a printed circuit board. Before placing components, chips and other surface mount devices (SMDs) onto the printed circuit board, solder paste is first applied. Next, by heating and melting the solder through a high-temperature infrared reflow process, the components become fused to the printed circuit board. Before the development of this method, through-hole technology was used. This method used wire leads and chip pins that were passed through holes made in the printed circuit board to mount and solder components to the surface.