Development of Eco-Friendly Thermosetting Resin
June 13, 2011
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (President & Director: Akihisa Mizuno; Head office: 1, Higashi-shincho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture) and Meidensha Corporation (President: Junzo Inamura; Head office: ThinkPark Tower, 2-1-1 Osaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) have jointly developed an eco-friendly thermosetting resin.
Going forward, Meidensha will investigate uses of the newly developed material in commercial products.
There are two types of resin: thermoplastic and thermosetting. Thermoplastic resin is easy to shape when it is heated, so it is primarily used as material for packaging and food containers. Thermosetting resin, on the other hand, is highly resistant to heat and chemical treatments, and because it does not easily change shape even when heated, it is primarily used as materials for automotive and other components and as insulating material for electric devices. Conventional resins use raw materials made from oil, but because depletion of oil resources is now a global problem, there is a growing need to use renewable resources and industrial by-products.
Many thermoplastic resins have been developed in recent years that use plant-derived raw materials, especially in the home appliance industry. There have been few thermosetting resins, in contrast, made of such raw materials and having the strength and reliability to be used in automobiles, electric power equipment, and the like. Now Chubu Electric Power and Meidensha have developed an eco-friendly thermosetting resin with the strength and long-term reliability to be used as insulating material in electric power equipment.
By using plant-derived material as the base resin and hardener, the newly developed thermosetting resin greatly reduces the amount of oil-derived materials compared to conventional thermosetting resin used for electric power. It also uses a filler made from coal ash, an industrial by-product emitted from coal-fired thermal power plants. These features make it an eco-friendly resin. Its mechanical and electrical properties, moreover, are equivalent to those of conventional resin, and the cost is the same or lower.
(1) Eco-friendly thermosetting resin
The resin uses plant-derived material for its base resin and hardener, and fly ash, a type of coal ash emitted from coal-fired thermal power plants, as filler.
(2) Mechanical and electrical properties equivalent to existing resins
The resin's mechanical and electrical properties are equivalent to those of existing resins, and changing the ratio of ingredients allows one to adjust the characteristics to the product's needs.
(3) Equivalent or lower cost as an insulating material
Plant-derived raw materials are costly, but the addition of fly ash, a by-product from coal-fired thermal power plants, brings the material cost as an insulating material to the same or lower level than existing materials. Because there is no change in the usual product manufacturing process, product costs are likewise the same or lower.