News Releases 2010

Kuraray Plastics Releases New Flameproof Duct
- The Industry’s First Duct to Not Use Glass Wool -

February 8, 2010
Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.
(The Kuraray Group)

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka; President: Yuzuru Sasaki) has developed the industry's first flameproof duct to not incorporate glass wool. The new duct will add a high degree of fire resistance to existing super flame-resistant ducts used in building air conditioning systems.*1 Sales of this product will commence from March 1, 2010.

When ducts are manufactured using glass wool, until now the most commonly used flame-resistant material, a thick layer of this incombustible material is required, increasing the duct's external diameter. Among the frequently reported problems due to this fact are difficulties in installing such ducts in attics and other narrow spaces.

The new flameproof duct developed by Kuraray features a unique design that uses absolutely no glass wool; instead, aluminum-coated glass cloth covers the external surface, heat-insulation foam and a special resin compound material comprise the inner layer, and a nonwoven fabric is used for the internal surface to help to dampen sound. This structure makes Kuraray's new flameproof duct more efficient to install owing to its easy-cut propensity as well as the fact that it greatly reduces the diameter of ducting needed.

(Patent to be published. Application number to the Japan Patent Office: 2007-111170; Publishing number: 2008-267690. Please refer to the design diagram)

Diagram:New Flameproof Duct Design

Flameproof duct hose

This product is the first flameproof duct manufactured without glass wool to pass construction material tests certifying incombustibility under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's revised Building Standard Law, which went into effect in June, 2000. As a result, the product acquired a ministry's certification number (NM-2543) in October 2009.

Furthermore, using a gas burner Kuraray conducted further testing on the new flameproof duct based on assumptions of conditions should an actual building fire occur. Despite being exposed to an open flame produced by a gas burner for twenty minutes, this product did not burn (although small cracks were detected in one section of the external surface’s aluminum foil cover, no significant damage was visible).

Example of use

Kuraray aims to develop this product as a duct for use in building air conditioning systems-which will require stringent flame-resistant properties in the future-installed by such businesses as housing construction companies, electric appliance manufacturers and air conditioner manufacturers.

  • *1 Building air conditioning systems provide warm and cool air for entire buildings, supplying fresh air to interior spaces 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through interconnected ducts. Such systems, operating alone, are capable of performing ventilation, air cleaning, dehumidification, humidification, heating, cooling and other functions.
  • *2 A law that regulates the flame resistance of air conditioning and air exhaust/supply duct materials used in buildings, condominiums, fire-resistant wooden residences and other structures. Construction materials are required to pass flame-resistance certification tests established by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Certification tests for flame-resistant materials stipulated by the Building Standards Law (assessment based on heating materials to approximately 800° for 20 minutes):
  • (1) Gross heating value under 8MJ/m2
  • (2) Due to flame-resistant properties, no penetrative cracks or perforations occurred that could damage inner layers
  • (3) Fastest rate in which flames are produced is over 10 seconds and does not exceed 200kW/m2

Product Overview

  • Features high flame-resistance even when exposed to direct flame (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism flame-resistant approved product: certification number NM-2543)
  • Features high flame-resistance as ducting for use in building air conditioning systems and highly air-tight/insulated residences
  • The industry's first duct manufactured without glass wool, making installation conditions highly safe due to the absence of glass wool fibers scattering during cutting
  • Resin material used in the inner layer boasts a flat, thin structure to provide low pressure loss within ducts, facilitate smooth internal air flow along the duct and reduce the load on air blowers.
  • Features superior sound-dampening qualities owing to the use of a breathable nonwoven fabric on the inner surface
  • Boasting a lightweight, flexible and form retentive features and a smaller external diameter to facilitate easy installation in narrow spaces
  • Product configuration features elongated resin materials that do not use wires, making it easy to cut ducts to any length
  • Heating, cooling, air conditioning and air exhaust/supply ducts for such structures as buildings, condominiums, residences and stores
  • For places that require ducts certified as flame resistant
  • Four types with interior diameters of 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and 150mm
Recommended retail price (tax not included)
  • 100mm interior diameter: ¥7,200/m
Sales targets
  • First year: ¥200 million; after three years: ¥1 billion

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.

Headquarters Shin-Hankyu Building 9F, 1-12-39 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, JAPAN, 530-8611
President Yuzuru Sasaki
Paid-in capital ¥180 million
Employees 203 (as of March 31, 2009)
Business activities Manufacture, processing and sale of rubber and plastic hoses, various molded products, conduit tubes, laminated products, SEPTON compounds and molded products.

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