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SDK to Commercialize Allyl Ester Resin for Spectacle Lenses

Showa Denko K.K.
November 9, 2009

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) will early next year start commercial production of allyl ester resin (trade name: SR-21) for use in medium-refraction-type spectacle lenses, whose demand is expected to grow on a global scale.

SR-21, based on SDK's proprietary technology, is characterized by its higher degree of whiteness compared with conventional products. In recent years, demand is increasing for spectacle lenses with higher whiteness and transparency.

SR-21 also features high moldability, resulting in improved productivity in lens production. SDK has already started sample shipments, and these sample products are highly valued by customers. A commercial production facility for SR-21 under construction at SDK's Oita Complex will also produce raw material allyl alcohol in an integrated manner, enabling high productivity.

Spectacle lenses are classified into three types by the level of refraction factors (high, medium and low). The higher the refraction factor, the thinner and lighter the lens becomes. In Asia (centering on China with large population), Eastern Europe, and Latin America, demand is shifting, with the rise in income, from glass lenses to resin lenses, and from low-refraction-type lenses to medium-refraction-type lenses. In the Japanese market, where high-refraction-type lenses have been the mainstream, demand for medium-refraction-type lenses is growing due to the good balance between price and product quality.

Thus, world demand for medium-refraction-type lenses is expected to grow at the rate of 20% per year. SDK is planning to achieve annual sales of ¥2 billion in 2010 and obtain a 40% share of the world market for medium-refraction-type lenses.

SDK is expanding its competitive allyl-alcohol-related business, fully utilizing its proprietary catalyst/process technologies whereby allyl alcohol is synthesized directly from propylene and acetic acid. SDK will continue developing high-value-added products in this area to meet the diversified and sophisticated needs of customers.

For more information, contact:
IR & PR Office (Phone: 81-3-5470-3235)