The Future Created by Expanded Polyolefin

Bead-method expanded polyolefin…. A rather stately and solemn name, perhaps, but in fact, it’s a material we can find all around us, on bumpers on cars, or in doors. It’s generally used to absorb energy from shocks and impacts. 
Kaneka successfully created this material a decade after we developed expanded polystyrene. Though we were being told that technically it was “still very hard,” we brought to bear all the different technologies we’d already developed and, in 1973, to the acclamation of many, we finally managed to start selling it under the name of “Eperan.” At the time, it was available in the form of sheets or round bars, but people wanted expanded polystyrene that was easy to use, and not just strong. 
So how is it easy to use? Eperan is made from small bead-shaped balls. These can be formed into any shape you want by pressing them into a mold, so there is no excess waste material or unnecessary cutting and gluing. It is also resistant to impacts, and can be used over and over again. In addition, it generates very little black smoke or harmful substances when burned, so as a shock absorbing material it has nearly a perfect score. 
One of the other interesting things about this material is its capacity for further improvement. For example, its environmental aspects. What Eperan’s made of now is in fact completely different to what it was made of when it was first developed. We have taken another look at the raw materials, changed our foaming agent to help protect the ozone layer, and improved our processing technology, as we continue to take steps to reduce damage to the environment. In addition, if we make Eperan even stronger, it will help not just in making cars safer but lighter overall as well, helping to improve their fuel consumption. The more the technology advances, the more our expectations expand outwards.
Our businesses using Eperan are spreading not just throughout Japan but the world as well. As the technology advances and worldwide use spreads, we wish to be able to contribute even more to solving the energy and environment problems.

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