Plan for R&D
Plan for R&D
The Showa Denko Group launched the medium-term business plan “Project 2020+” in 2016, and 2018 is the final year of the plan. The budget allocated to R&D investments for the three-year period totals 60 billion yen and targets the five market domains of “Infrastructure,” “Energy,” “Mobility,” “Living environment,” and “Electronics.” We aim to create individualized businesses in these market domains and also speed up the development of high value-added products and services, thereby making social contribution on a global scale.
Based on the basic R&D policy, “Create new value by forging, polishing, and linking diverse individualized technologies,” we reorganized the R&D sector in January 2016 in order to specify the target image of the Group in 2025. We are implementing specific measures with greater speed to get results as early as possible.
Based on the various materials manufactured by the Showa Denko Group, including organic, inorganic, and aluminum materials, as well as on the advanced technologies to process these materials and long-accumulated strategic technologies, we will foster R&D on cross-departmental themes to meet a range of market needs and provide customers with new value.
In the following we introduce some of the R&D projects implemented under the leadership of the Institute for Integrated Product Development for the purpose of enhancing our core businesses and developing new businesses in peripheral fields. We will also show how the Institute for Advanced and Core Technology is working to deepen the Showa Denko Group’s strategic technologies.
1. Enhancement of the core businesses/expansion of individualized businesses
the wet wall of a water conduit
(Asahi Dam, Higashinagahara Plant)
We are carrying out demonstration tests for ammonia-based hydrogen stations, aqueous binders for the anodes of LIBs, and repairing materials to be used in cold and humid conditions in order to develop high-value added products that will assuredly help boost our profits.
Ammonia contains hydrogen at a high concentration and is expected to be used as an energy carrier. For ammonia-based hydrogen stations, we succeeded, ahead of others in the world, in developing a practical technology to manufacture out of ammonia high-purity hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles. At present, we are implementing a system demonstration test on the scale of 10 Nm3/h at the Kawasaki Plant.
As for aqueous binders for the anodes of LIBs, our in-house designed resin features are highly acclaimed and adopted widely by customers. We have begun developing a product with the grade and durability suitable for use in EVs, which will be further popularized in the future.
For repairing materials that help complete repair work within a shorter time even under harsh conditions and are intended for use in cold and humid settings, we have completed registration with the New Technology Information System (NETIS) implemented by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and are verifying the performance of the materials by using them on a trial basis for commercialization.
2. Peripheral growth fields/heat solutions
In accordance with the electrification as well as downsizing and weight reduction of industrial equipment and automobiles, highperformance materials that provide heat solutions are increasingly needed. The Showa Denko Group supplies SiC epitaxial wafers for power semiconductors, heat-resistant sealing resin, inorganic fillers, aluminum composite materials, and other components that have excellent heat resistance and heat dissipation properties. Our customers have begun evaluating these products. We will develop high-end aluminum, plastic, and ceramic materials and components to meet the need of heat solutions for high-output and small-sized power modules and other products. Moreover, we will also combine the materials and components to provide multi-material components.
3. Strategic technologies/carbon materials
The Institute for Advanced and Core Technology is fostering the creation of individualized businesses by deepening the world’s toplevel strategic technologies based on a next-generation business model that is not derived from existing businesses.
For example, with fullerene, which is a carbon material that has a shape similar to that of a soccer ball, we explore its features and enhance the technology to develop fullerene derivatives and create thin fullerene films to expand its applications. Recently we have accelerated the use of the material for energy conservation purposes, including use in organic thin-film solar cells and in lubricating oil. We are also working to build the world’s top-class mass production system for the stable supply of high-quality fullerene.