Sumitomo to expand liquid crystal polymer capacity

To meet the growing demand for lighter weight components and miniaturization, liquid crystal polymer (LCP) is increasingly replacing conventional plastics. To meet the growing demand fro LCPs, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. has planned capacity expansion. Sumitomo plans to expand neat resin production capacity for Sumikasuper LCP from 7,000 tpa to 9,200 tpa along with setting up of a new facility in China for the production of LCP compounds. Several manufacturers of electronic components are establishing manufacturing operations in China, resulting in largest growth demand for LCP from China. In order to meet the further increase in demand, Group company Taoka Chemical Co., Ltd., which supplies neat resin to Sumitomo Chemical under contract manufacture, will expand its production facility, and Sumika Electronic Materials (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. in China will construct new facilities for the production of neat resin and compounds. Completion of these facilities will bring the Group's capacity for neat resin to 9,200 tons annually, which converts to approximately 14,000 tons of compounds, equivalent to 30% of the projected 2009 global demand (according to Company estimates). LCP is a super engineering plastic with excellent heat resistance and thin-wall flowability - offering advantages in application for various electronics components. Among these, demand for Sumikasuper LCP is seeing high growth for connectors used in laptop computers and mobile phones. Demand is also increasing in applications for such electronics components as LCD backlights bobbins and optical pickup bobbins, automotive relays, and laser printer heater holders, and new uses are also increasing for other automotive components and LEDs.
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