R&D

R&D Activities

Inorganic Chemicals Division

Under the catchphrase “Creation of products that will amaze users and inspire their dreams,” ISK promotes creative R&D to realize its basic philosophy: “Contribute to the progress of society, protection of life, and preservation of the environment.”

Based on the unique technologies we have established through the production of a titanium dioxide pigment, we are working to produce highly unique and high-value-added products that are environment-friendly and exceed customers’ expectations.

Product Development

In addition to titanium dioxide and other coloring materials, ISK is promoting the development of photocatalysts, electro-conductive materials, and other functional materials.

Color Materials R&D

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 dioxide materials with thermal insulation properties and those which are suitable for water-based paints. Through the development of high-value-added titanium dioxide 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 dioxide 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 dioxide 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 dioxide pigments. They are pursuing the products that go beyond simple white pigments, including titanium dioxide pigments with new functions and titanium pigments with new design.

Functional Materials R&D

When atomized, every material usually emphasizes some of its characteristics or reveals a completely new function. It is widely known that when the particles of titanium dioxide used as a coloring pigment are atomized, it becomes transparent and enhances its ultraviolet ray shielding performance. Due to these properties, ultrafine particle size titanium dioxide is widely used for cosmetics and industrial materials and is being studied as possible ingredients of other new products. Ultrafine particle size titanium dioxide is also used as an ingredient of top coat paint for automotive application. In addition to the atomization of titanium dioxide particles, ISK will also inquire into zinc oxide and other compound atomization technologies to respond to the dramatically changing needs of the times. The objective of such challenges of ISK is to develop new functional products which will cultivate new application areas beyond conventional areas.
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 dioxide 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 dioxide 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 dioxide 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 dioxide, 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 dioxide 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

ISK is currently working to improve the productivity, product quality, and work safety of its Yokkaichi plant. The goals of the work are enhancement of the productivity of the existing equipment and product quality, the introduction of new equipment, the development of a new production process, and the scaling-up of the production capacity.

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 dioxide 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 dioxide 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.