Asahi Kasei showcases new concept car and other products at K 2022

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Asahi Kasei, a Japanese materials company, is going all out to step up its activities in Europe, and it will show off at the K 2022 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, opening a foam lab at its R&D center in April this year.
In addition to a heavy focus on automotive material solutions, the company will be showing its latest concept car, the AKXY2, for the first time in Europe.

All windows in AKXY2 are hard-coated polycarbonate (PC)
made using a manufacturing method developed by Asahi Kasei in 2002 that uses carbon dioxide as a production raw material. Today, 15% of the world’s PC production uses this production technology from Asahi Kasei.

In order to enable polycarbonate to be applied to automotive windshields, Asahi Kasei is currently developing a hard coating technology that will give polycarbonate a UN ECE compliant
Abrasion and weather resistance to R43 standard. Replacing glass with this polycarbonate would significantly reduce vehicle weight and extend the range of electric vehicles. UN ECE of the United Nations
R4 specifies uniform requirements for the approval of safety glazing materials and their installation on vehicles.

The AKXY2 also uses AZP, a transparent optical polymer developed by Asahi Kasei, in the internal display. This material has ultra-low birefringence, ensuring perfect screen visibility without rainbow effects. Plastics with low birefringence produce projected images with less distortion, which makes them particularly attractive for head-up displays on windshields and dashboard navigation systems.

Particle Foam for Cell Holders

Asahi Kasei will also showcase its SunForce line of innovative particle foams at the K show. They are based on a variety of engineering plastics and can be processed on standard foam molding equipment. SunForce BE is based on modified polyphenylene ether
(mPPE) with unmatched light weight, UL94 V-0 rated flame resistance, thin wall formability, thermal insulation and processability.

Asahi Kasei will showcase 4680 and 2170 cylindrical battery bases made of this material. In this application, the material precisely holds and aligns cylindrical cells without the use of any adhesives.
The material is also suitable for use in battery packs using other cell designs, such as pouch cells and prismatic cells.

Another particle foam, SunForce AS, is based on polyamide
(PA), its high stiffness and strength make it an ideal material to replace metals in automotive structural components. This type of material also has the highest chemical and thermal resistance in the product range.

Cellulose-based reinforcing fibers

Asahi Kasei’s expertise in cellulose goes back 90 years, when it first started selling fibers under the trade name Bemberg. These “Cupro” fibers are made from cotton waste called lint, which is too short to spin.

The company is now applying this proprietary technology to other fields and developing a cellulose-based nanofiber-filled material
(CNF). Compared with traditional lignocellulose, CNF has higher purity than traditional lignocellulose, is a substitute for glass fiber, and can be used in engineering plastics, such as PA 6, PA
66 and polyacetal in proportions up to 20% by weight.

Asahi Kasei will also showcase its Leona SG grades, a series of semi-aromatic polyamides with excellent mechanical strength, processability and surface quality, and Xyron for 5G
mPPE. The company will also present some of its renewable polyacetals and polyphenylene ethers.