Kaneka largely increasing production capacity of ultra-heat resistant polyimide films and high thermal conductive graphite sheets
―Responding to the global sudden expansion of demand due to arrival of the IoT and AI society―
July 10, 2018
Kaneka Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Mamoru Kadokura) decided to expand production facilities for ultra-heat resistant polyimide films*1 in Shiga Manufacturing Site (Address: Otsu, Shiga) and for high thermal conductive graphite sheets*2 in a group company, Tochigi Kaneka (Headquarters: Moka, Tochigi; President: Shuji Nozawa). Investment costs are approximately 11 billion yen in total and the facilities are planned to start in spring, 2019. Due to arrival of the IoT and AI society, Kaneka will increase production capacity to satisfy high demand for polyimide materials that support digital devices and communication systems which is now rapidly becoming sophisticated.
With this investment, Kaneka will largely increase the annual production capacity of ultra-heat resistant polyimide films by 30% in Japan, the US, and Malaysia in total and of high thermal conductive graphite sheets made from the polyimide films by three times. Kaneka Group has advantages in development, production and quality control of new products made from the ultra-heat resistant polyimide films to the high thermal conductive graphite sheets, and finally processed to electronic parts, and will further expand its business operation by this consolidation of production capacity.
The ultra-heat resistant polyimide film market is now expanding for communication, in-vehicle, medical and industrial application in addition to expansion of demand for flexible printed circuits (FPCs), major application of the films, due to high performance of portable terminals such as smart phones. Demand for the high thermal conductive graphite sheets is also rapidly increasing as materials solving thermal problems due to enhancement of digital devices and communication systems, which raises concern over insufficient supply of the ultra-heat resistant polyimide films, raw materials for the high-thermal conductive graphite.
*1 It is a highly functional film with superior heat resistance and cold resistance, and widely used for railway motors, insulation of aircraft electric wiring, and information satellite in the space in addition to flexible printed circuits.
*2 It is produced based on macromolecular design technique and firing technique at high temperature using polyimide as a material. It has thermal conductivity three times higher than copper. The demand is expected to further increase as materials solving thermal problems of the structural members in new devices in addition to CPUs for mobile equipment such as smart phones and tablets.