Commercialization of new transparent polymer for optical applications

June 19, 2014
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Asahi Kasei Chemicals has developed AZP™ as a new optical polymer featuring zero birefringence* achieved through novel molecular design. Manufacturing facilities for AZP™ will be constructed at the company’s Chiba Plant (Sodegaura, Chiba, Japan), with start-up scheduled for early next year. Applications for AZP™ are anticipated in high-performance displays and various optical components.

As information technology continues to advance, TVs, PCs, smartphones, and in-car navigation systems increasingly require displays that provide higher definition, more efficient utilization of light, and lower power consumption. Developed by Asahi Kasei Chemicals, AZP™ meets these emerging market needs as the world’s first plastic material featuring zero birefringence, achieved through novel molecular design.

As conventional polymers for displays have birefringence characteristics, some of the light passing through is refracted or leaked, resulting in diminished contrast and lower clarity. Because it has no birefringence, AZP™ enables clearer images and more efficient utilization of light. With its light weight and easy processability, AZP™ is the ideal substitute for glass in display screens.

Asahi Kasei Chemicals will continue to develop new applications for AZP™ and provide high-quality and high-performance products, while studying further expansions of production capacity in accordance with market needs.

Features of AZP™

Zero in-plane retardation, zero out-of-plane retardation, and zero photoelasticity

Unlike conventional polymers which require special molding techniques to achieve eliminate birefringence, AZP™ enables high productivity and freedom of design

Glass-transition temperature (Tg): 135°C
Surface hardness (pencil hardness): 3H–4H

Outline of the new manufacturing facilities

Location:   Asahi Kasei Chemicals Chiba Plant (Sodegaura, Chiba, Japan)
Capacity:   Several thousand tons per year
Product:   AZP™ transparent polymer for optical applications
Start-up:   Q1 2015 (scheduled)


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