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Source: Infomedia Infomedia

Micro-electronics demand triggers expansion of carbon nanotube production in Japan

Published: 10 Feb 2009 01:58:17 PST

NanotubeShowa Denko plans to build a plant with a capacity of 400 tonne of carbon nanotubes for use in plastics in Japan for start-up in 2010.

The VGCFTM-X grade of carbon nanotubes has been developed using SDK's catalyst and synthesis technologies. According to company sources, the grade has high electrical conductivity and dispersibility, and even a small amount is able to give stable conductivity to plastics.

Applications are expected in static-free plastic cases for the carriage of semi-conductor/hard disk media parts - finer structure semi-conductors and hard disk media with higher density impose higher anti-static demands on plastic cases to prevent contamination and ensure cleanliness of the air in a cleanroom.

Showa Denko has concluded a patent cross-license and a supply agreement with the US-based Hypedrion Catalysis International, which owns many key patents relating to materials and applications in the area of carbon nanotubes, including for plastics composites. Hyperion has been selling its Fibril carbon nanotubes since 1983. The two companies are also pursuing possible joint R&D programmes.

Showa Denko began developing VGCFTM in 1982 and set up a 20 tonne commercial plant in 1996. The plant capacity was expanded to 100 tonne in 2007 in response to high demand for VGCFTM for use as an additive in lithium ion batteries to enhance durability. In September 2008, Showa Denko and Professor Endo jointly developed ultra-high performance composite rubber for oil exploration/drilling applications using VGCFTM-S, a grade for composites.

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