Sunday, January 1, 2012

No. 397: A heat-resistant polyamide resin with a 56% bio content (January 1, 2012)

Unitika, one of Japan’s leading material producers, developed a high performance biomass-derived heat-resistant polyamide resin with a melting point as high as 310 degrees centigrade. Named XecoT, it contains 56% bio content. Despite the high content ratio, it is a low-absorbent material excellent both in wear resistance and chemical resistance. It is based on ricinus collected from nonfood castor-oil plants. The new product is suitable for injection molding and can be processed as fiber and film because it rarely gelates. The company plans to mass-produce XecoT by next summer.

The heat-resistant polyamide resin market is growing at an annual rate of 12%. Unitika wishes to focus on the high bio content ratio and functionality to differentiate XecoT from competitive products and expand the market worldwide, responding to the growing concern about oil depletion and environment. The company plans to sell it to the market of automotive parts and such electronics parts as SMT connector and LED reflector plate. The annual production will start at 100-200 tons in 2012, increase to 500 tons in 2013, and subsequently increase to 5,000 tons in 2015.    

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