In 2023, the external market will still be full of uncertainties. On January 10, the World Bank released the latest “Global Economic Prospects” report, lowering its global economic growth forecast in 2023 from 3.0% in June 2022 to 1.7%, the third lowest growth rate in the past 30 years. Only higher than 2009 and 2020, when global recessions occurred. The possibility of global economic recession is increasing, international demand is weak, and trade frictions are intensifying. Faced with numerous challenges, companies need to grasp certainty to achieve sustainable growth.
How will global leading companies such as Teijin of Japan, DSM of the Netherlands, Hyosung of South Korea, Arkema of France, and Invista of the United States plan their layout in 2023? Exploring its product development paths and production capacity expansion trends, it is not difficult to find that the sustainability and high performance of materials have become the focus of various companies.
Renewable polyester offers “environmental value” solutions
In the past year, Teijin Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Teijin Group”) has made breakthroughs in product innovation, business layout, sustainable development and other aspects, and continues to lead industry changes. Looking forward to 2023, Teijin will continue to provide corresponding solutions to society in the three aspects of “environmental value”, “safety, safety, disaster prevention” and “low birthrate, aging population, and health intentions”, based on the goal of becoming “a company that promotes future social development.” A long-term vision moving forward.
In recent years, sustainable development has become an important issue of concern to international textile materials companies. Teijin Group is committed to reducing the environmental load of the entire supply chain and establishing a resource recycling mechanism, with special emphasis on using chemical recycling technology to promote the application of renewable polyester.
Picture: Tire cord developed by Teijin
In October 2022, Teijin Frontier manufactured for the first time in the world a tire cord product that combines RF (resorcinol-formaldehyde)-free adhesive and chemically recycled polyester fiber, further reducing the cost of the tire manufacturing process. the effect on the environment. Trial production of this tire cord will begin in 2023, with the aim of producing 200,000 tons per year by 2030.
As people’s awareness of the environment and safety increases, there is an increasing demand for the use of environmentally friendly raw materials in tires, which are important components of automobiles. Under such circumstances, Teijin Frontier has been developing environmentally friendly raw materials and products for rubber products including tires. For example, in 2008, it developed the world’s first tire cord using chemically recycled polyester fiber. ; In March 2020, an environmentally friendly adhesive for rubber-reinforced fibers that does not use RF was developed.
By using polymer compounds in adhesives instead of RF, we will contribute to reducing the environmental load during the bonding process. In addition, because the adhesive has good affinity with both fibers and rubber, it achieves the same bonding performance as traditional resorcinol-formaldehyde-latex (RFL) adhesives.
Chemically regenerated fibers used for tire cords are made from polymers using a chemical regeneration method that maintains strength, fatigue resistance, dimensional stability and heat resistance. Compared with petroleum-derived polyester fiber tire cords, they not only reduce The CO₂ emissions during the manufacturing process are reduced while achieving the same quality and performance. Starting with tire cord, Teijin hopes to expand its application as a reinforcing fiber for rubber products such as belts and hoses.
Expand high-performance materials production capacity in China
In recent years, rising living standards and ambitious environmental policies have driven the Chinese market’s demand for sustainable high-performance materials. A high-performance material blending production line put into operation by Royal DSM Group of the Netherlands (hereinafter referred to as “DSM”) in China is expected to be completed this year. The production line has advanced technology and will help DSM meet the market demand for Akulon® Demand for high-performance materials such as PA6/PA66, Arnite® PET/PBT, Arnitel® TPC, EcoPaXX® PA410, ForTii®PA4T/PPA and Stanyl® PA46.
The blending production line put into operation by DSM at DSM Engineering Materials (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the “Jiangyin Factory”) in Jiangyin City, Jiangsu Province has a high level of sustainable development, further highlighting DSM’s commitment to A commitment to a better world for people and planet. While increasing production capacity for materials needed for sustainable solutions, the expansion will be greenhouse gas-neutral from the start and will be powered by 100% renewable electricity. These initiatives are in line with DSM Engineered Materials’ sustainability commitments, which include halving its global greenhouse gas emissions (from 2016 levels) by 2030 and providing bio-based and/or bio-based products and solutions for all products and solutions. or recyclable alternatives. DSM’s Jiangyin plant has always used self-generated solar energy and traceable renewable electricity to produce high-performance materials and is a leader in sustainable manufacturing.
DSM attaches great importance to the development prospects of the Chinese market, continues to invest in key areas for sustainable growth, and strengthens relationships with business partners. The new blending production line at the Jiangyin plant will provide Chinese companies with a richer range of specialty materials products and solutions to meet their growing demand for sustainable products in the electrical, electronics and automotive fields. emperor�
Adiponitrile is a key raw material for nylon 6,6 and can also be used in fibers and specialty materials, including hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) for coatings. The new adiponitrile production base will provide a stable supply of local raw materials for the production of nylon 6,6 with an annual production capacity of 400,000 tons. The production base will use INVISTA’s proprietary technology for the production of adiponitrile (ADN) through the “butadiene method” to achieve improvements in commercial scale and overall efficiency. INVISTA’s proprietary adiponitrile preparation technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 60% compared to the “propylene method” adiponitrile preparation technology and 80% compared to the “adipic acid method” technology. It has obvious advantages in manufacturing cost, commercial scale and overall efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced. After the new INVISTA adiponitrile production base is put into operation, it will effectively alleviate the previous need to import adiponitrile and support the production of nylon 6,6 with a stable local supply.
In the process of industrial upgrading, companies in downstream application fields such as automobiles and electronics and electrical appliances are facing many requirements for terminal application upgrades, more energy-saving safety and cost control, and they need materials with better comprehensive performance. To this end, INVISTA has invested more than 95 million yuan in establishing an Asia-Pacific research and innovation center to deepen local research and development and accelerate customer response with cutting-edge equipment and technical support. The Asia-Pacific Research and Innovation Center focuses on downstream applications, strengthening the key performance of nylon 6,6 when used in engineering plastics, and supporting the demand for high-performance components in the automotive, electronic and electrical fields.
Relying on INVISTA’s Asia-Pacific R&D Center and existing hexamethylenediamine and nylon 6,6 polymer production bases, INVISTA will form comprehensive production and R&D capabilities, covering application development, raw materials and high-performance polymer supply.