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R&D Activities - Inorganic Chemicals Division -

R&D Strategy Headquarters

With "Creating products that make dreams come true and bringing "Wow" to customers" as a slogan, the Product Development Division, Production Technology R&D Division, and New Business Planning and Developing Division are conducting innovative research and development to achieve our corporate mission: "Contributing to human society, life and environment."

The Product Development Division consists of the group developing colorants such as titanium oxide, the group developing functional material products including photocatalysts and conductive materials, and the group providing technical services based on customer requests. These groups are constantly striving to create high-value-added products that exceed customers' expectations.

The Production Technology R&D Division comprises the group for improving the productivity of the current facilities and quality, studying introduction of new facilities, and developing new production processes, and the group conducting production scale-up, prototyping and trial production. These groups are contributing to improving the productivity, quality and safety of the Yokkaichi Factory.

The New Business Planning and Developing Division was established in February 2016 with the aim of creating new businesses and products regardless of existing ones by crossing and utilizing both organic and inorganic chemistries.

The engineers and researchers working on technical development are the sources of the competitive edge and growth of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha. Under the broad vision of training high-level engineers and researchers, the company is operating according to the following policies.

Product Development Division

Color Materials R&D Group

This group is developing new products based on proprietary fine-powder generation technology and surface treatment technology that respond to the needs of the coating industry. With the recent rise in concern about the environment, the group is working on the development of titanium oxide materials with thermal insulation properties and those which are suitable for water-based paints. Through the development of high-value-added titanium oxide coating materials according to diversified needs, such as superior durability, the group endeavors to protect the social infrastructure.

In response to different needs for printing ink, the group has been developing distinctive ink products using surface treatment technology and particle diameter control technology cultivated over many years. And in order to meet the demand for eco-friendly ink, which has been gaining attention in recent years, the group is developing original products based on proprietary technology that contributes to the protection of the global environment.
The raw materials of plastic that we use every day have grown in variety and diversity from general-purpose plastic to super engineering plastic. In conjunction with this, there are various demands for titanium oxide pigments as well. In addition to the development of products that are suitable for each type of plastic material, the group is working towards the commercialization of ultimate products that transcend the conventional development framework by combining our technologies to respond to the demand for all characteristics including dispersibility, weather resistance, discoloration resistance, and filling.

The group has been striving to develop titanium oxide materials, which are compatible with a wide range of paper from neutral paper to acid paper, for the base sheet for decorative plates, by exploiting proprietary technology.

They have been developing yellow inorganic pigments (titanium yellow) that have a wide range of applications. The colors range from lemon yellow to reddish yellow. The main features include excellent fastness and hiding power that cannot be achieved with organic pigments.

In response to the demand from a wide range of customers, they are developing technical customer services and the next-generation titanium oxide pigments. They are pursuing the products that go beyond simple white pigments, including titanium oxide pigments with new functions and titanium pigments with new design.

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Functional Materials R&D Group

In general, micronizing particle sizes of a material improves several characteristics, and sometimes creates entirely new functions. Ultrafine particle titanium oxide, which has very small particle sizes, has extremely low light scattering capacity, high transparency, and superior ultraviolet blocking performance, and is mainly used for cosmetics including sunscreens and foundations. On the other hand, it is also receiving attention both in Japan and abroad as a raw material for automobile top coats, automobile catalyst carriers, and toners. While responding to the rapidly changing needs of the time, the group is pursuing creative development in not only the area of titanium oxide but also zinc oxide and fine technology in general.

With the spread of electronic devices that symbolize the electronics society, there are growing needs for antistatic measures. In response to these needs, the group has developed white conductive materials and ultrafine tin oxide-based transparent conductive materials made of spherical and needle-shaped titanium oxide treated with tin oxide-based conductive materials. This material is also attracting attention both in Japan and abroad for their applications such as transparent coating materials for heat ray shielding, fibers and toners. In addition to the development of new, superior, highly conductive materials, the group will continue to realize products that are friendly to both humans and the environment, in response to the recent rise in concern about the environment.

The group has been developing high-purity titanium oxide materials for ceramic electronics components such as laminated ceramic capacitors. Our company is the only company in Japan with both chloride and sulfate processes of titanium oxide production in Japan, and has product line-up with different purity and particle sizes according to the purpose, field of application and required performance.

In response to the further micronization and capacity expansion of electronic components, the group is working on the development of high-purity fine particles using the company's original wet process.

A denitration catalyst is used to remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) contained in the exhaust gas from thermal power plants and large boilers. Titanium oxide, which is superior in chemical stability and surface activation, serves as a carrier material for the denitration catalyst.
The group is committed to developing new, revolutionary, high-performance catalyst carrier materials that are suitable for flue gas denitration.
Metal Nanoparticles When silver, copper, and other metals are micronized to nano-size particles, a variety of interesting phenomena occurs, including reduction of the melting points, the appearance of characteristic absorption in the visible light region, and induction of selective catalytic reactions. Based on synthesis technology and surface modification technology for metal oxide fine-powder that our company has cultivated for many years, the group is researching applications for catalyst, decoration, and electronics materials by developing the methods for synthesizing metal nanoparticles in the liquid phase process. In recent years, printed electronics that manufacture electronic devices by printing technology is drowing much attention and the application of metal nanoparticles for ink for fine wiring is expected.
New Materials

Based on the corporate culture of creating ideas and taking on challenges, the group is striving to develop new functional materials and fostering seed technology that will form the basis of future business.

New Material Development

Based on the accumulated core technology for synthesizing organic materials, the group is working on the development of environmental and energy materials, optical materials, electric and electronics materials, and coloring materials that focuses on the trends of the times, through the evolution of structural design, particle control technology, and dispersing technology.

Element Technology Development

The group intends to extend element technology by evolving crystal synthesis, the company's core technology, into nano levels, and combining organic synthesis and inorganic synthesis technologies. The group is striving to develop element technology focused on the emergence of new functions and creation of next-generation materials by attempting synthetic methods that are not based on conventional technology.

In addition, the company is making efforts to respond to the various requests from our customers regarding titanium oxide pigments and functional materials. Moreover, we are actively providing technical information from the customers’ point of view by conducting evaluations in various applications with full use of a variety of analysis and evaluation equipment.

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Production Technology R&D Division

Process Development For process development, this division is improving the productivity and quality of the current facilities, studying the introduction of new facilities, and developing new production processes. The division is modernizing both chloride and sulfate processes of titanium oxide production at Yokkaichi Factory, in order to make the factory with low environmental loads and superior productivity, leading the world in both production cost and quality. In the field of new production processes, the group is pursuing the development of high-functional materials by challenging the establishment of new production technology based on new ideas and perspectives that transcend the traditional technical frameworks of the company, such as particle synthesis, thermal processing, and surface modification.
Engineering

The division is also proceeding with technical assistance, surveys and reviews in the area of engineering, such as improving the productivity of titanium oxide pigments, inorganic functional materials and new materials, and the exploitation and improvement of facilities and development of new manufacturing technology.

Technical assistance is also provided in the engineering for construction of new plants. It is expected that the assistance will facilitate the improvement of productivity and construction of new plants.

Pilot Scale Experiments The division has facilities for pilot scale experiments and constantly performing experiments for scaling new development prototypes up to actual production. The information obtained from pilot scale experiments helps the production division start producing new products swiftly, and contributes to increasing profitability.

As the center for distributing information on production technology in the inorganic business field, they will also work on the establishment of new production technology, as well as prompt and appropriate responses to requests from the production and development divisions.

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New Business Planning and Developing Division

New Business Planning and Developing Division The purpose of this division is to create new business based on innovative ideas free from preconceived notions, crossing the boundaries between business areas by merging the two major fields: inorganic and organic. The division is working on the development of materials for new devices such as biometric sensors using the company’s organic synthesis technology, the development of new inorganic materials by exploiting treatment technology of organic compounds, and the development of new molded product materials for 3D printers, which is currently drawing attention, and energy-related materials.