Toray Industries, Inc. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereinafter referred to as “Toray”) announced today that it succeeded in developing a new polyphenylene sulfide (hereinafter referred to as “PPS”) resin with the world’s highest flexibility level while maintaining its superior heat resistance and chemical resistance. The company plans to start proposing applications of the new resin primarily for automobiles in April this year and will pursue expansion of its application into various industrial material fields.
PPS resin is a super engineering plastic with well-balanced superior heat resistance and chemical resistance properties, and its sales are growing at an annual pace of about 7%. It is widely used primarily in automobile applications, which requires heat resistance, light weight and high strength to replace metals, and PPS resin containing elastomer is used in applications that require flexibility such as washers and automobile piping. However, there was a limit to adding flexibility to PPS resin while maintaining heat resistance and chemical resistance and the development of PPS resin with high flexibility had been a challenge over many years.
Toray succeeded in the development of the novel PPS resin, with the world’s highest flexibility level of 1,200 MPa or less in elastic modulus, by optimizing the polymer structure using its innovative material design based on a technology database accumulated in research and development over many years and the alloy precise control technology based on its proprietary nanoalloy® technology. The mechanical strength of the new PPS resin does not deteriorate even after 1,000 hours of treatment at 170℃ and it has also been confirmed to have high resistance to acids and vehicle coolants, which is required in an actual operating environment. The company also has been driving forward verification of processability with an eye on deployment in automobile piping application and optimization of resin property.
The newly developed PPS resin is expected to enable the use of resin for automobile piping, which has not been possible until now, reduction in the number of parts used and simplification of the process. Toray has already begun recommending the material for automobile piping and is preparing for a production system for the resin towards full-scale promotion of the material.
In the Toray Group Sustainability Vision announced in July 2018, Toray declared offering of essential solutions through the provision of innovative technologies and advanced materials to balance the challenges of development and sustainability faced by the world.
The new PPS resin material was developed by evolving the two core technologies of polymer chemistry and nanotechnology it has been nurturing since its inception in 1926. Toray will widely propose the resin as a material that realizes “a net zero emissions world, where greenhouse gas emissions are completely offset by absorption,” which the Toray Group aims for, through energy saving from weight reduction.
Image courtesy of toray.co.jp