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The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers

Engineering Thermoplastics Trends & Innovations: Interview with Toray Resin Company (NPE2018)

SpecialChem – May 7, 2018

TAGS:  High Heat Materials     NPE2018: The Plastics Show     Metal Replacement      Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS)   

Engineering Termoplastics - Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) NPE2018: The Plastics Show - We interviewed Stephen Keene, Director of Business Development – TORELINA™ PPS Resin for Toray Resin Company, a leading supplier of engineering thermoplastics.

Read on to hear Toray’s opinion on the market trends impacting the use of engineering thermoplastics and how they are bringing innovative solutions for industrial and automotive segments with their Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) and other polymers.

What are the biggest trends in the use of Engineering Thermoplastics today?

“Materials can change our lives”. This is our guiding principle in our daily work at Toray. We maintain a strong focus on sustainability, a key trend that crosses multiple industries. Sustainability drives opportunities for engineered materials through weight reduction which would:

  • Reduce environmental impact, and
  • Improve cost and fuel efficiency

Also, durability or extended service life, especially in harsh environments, is an important consideration in engineering thermoplastics material selection.

Furthermore, the trend toward automation in vehicle control and in manufacturing operations is accelerating. We see continued growth in demand for high temperature materials with good electrical properties for use in power control systems for cars and industrial equipment. Part design and material selection go hand in hand to create components that can be produced efficiently and meet high-performance standards.

Design engineers rely heavily on material suppliers who collaborate in the development process with innovative materials and offer the highest level technical support while maintaining consistent quality and delivery.

How is Toray meeting these trends and market needs?

Toray is convinced that “Material can change our lives”. An example is the leadership Toray takes in high-temperature engineering thermoplastics like TORELINA™ Polyphenylene Sulfide Resin (PPS) for demanding applications. The PPS material is:

  • Extremely strong
  • Withstands extreme temperatures, and
  • Resists a wide range of chemicals

It can efficiently replace brass, diecast aluminum, and other metals. Thus, it is an excellent material for light-weighting and cost reduction in applications for thermal management and fluid handling.

As vehicles and industrial equipment transition from fossil fuels to electrical power and electronic control systems, materials that are electrically conductive for grounding and shielding, thermally conductive to disperse heat, or fully insulative to manage signal and withstand extreme service temperatures are needed. Toray has developed and continues to invest in compounding technology and new material formulations to address all these requirements.

What further developments do you expect to see in the industry in the coming year?

The need for stronger, more durable, and lighter weight materials is only going to build momentum over the next year and beyond. This is why Toray continues to invest in plastics like Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) along with our Carbon Fiber and Composites businesses.

Have you launched anything new at NPE?

Toray's Booth at NPEToray continues to lead and innovate across several key material platforms, particularly:
At our display, you will see new developments and innovative ideas that leverage our strengths in these key technologies, with a strong focus on application development and the needs of our customers.

We are highlighting our New Generation of Coolant Resistant TORELINA™ PPS resins for applications in Thermal Management, in addition to our newest materials for extrusion and blow molding. Our engineers are pushing boundaries for the enhancement of propulsion systems, through the development of alternatives in Electric Vehicles or Fuel Cells while continuously improving the performance of the Internal Combustion Engine.

In the industrial spaces, visitors will see our emphasis on extremely strong, heat resistant Polyphenylene Sulfide Resin (PPS) for commercial and consumer hot water heating – replacing brass fittings, connections, and tubing. We are exhibiting heat and chemical resistant Polyphenylene Sulfide grades for extrusion and injection molding for:

  • Pumps
  • Seals, and
  • Wide range of Oil & Gas applications

In automotive we are guided by the belief that “Cars evolve through Materials”. Toray continues to focus on materials for:

  • Powertrain
  • Weight Reduction
  • Safety and Comfort

Are there any investments planned in the upcoming year for your PPS product range?

Globally Toray is consistently investing in R&D, spending 4 - 6% of its annual revenue in new materials and processes. In North America, Toray Resin Company recently expanded customer technical support capability with the establishment of our Regional Technology Center at the plant in Shelbyville, IN. This facility boasts state-of-the-art engineering resin development and analytical equipment to support customer needs.

In the RTC we have a diverse team of highly trained, experienced, and exceptionally talented people from around the world to provide:

  • Direct customer technical support
  • Material selection
  • New product formulation, and
  • CAE and design services

We have also recently expanded our TORELINA™ PPS Resin capacity at Shelbyville with state-of-the-art compounding technology. Also, we are prepared to quickly execute on further growth to meet demand. Finally, in Mexico, we established Toray Resin Mexico with a new compounding facility to serve the local market.

Any final comments?

It is Toray’s firm belief that "Materials can change our lives". The materials from which all products are made have the power to fundamentally change the world.

Through “Innovation by Chemistry” we are providing materials and technologies to advance challenging applications while maintaining a keen eye on sustainability. The Toray Group is committed to leading the way in technological innovation and having a positive social impact by developing advanced technologies and new materials. While maintaining a strong focus on existing technologies, we also have developed cutting-edge materials for the full spectrum of automotive, industrial, and consumer applications.

About Toray

Toray Industries is a fully integrated material supplier with manufacturing, processing, and sales of the following products: Fibers and Textiles; Performance Chemicals; Carbon Fiber Composite Materials; Environment and Engineering; Life Sciences and Other Businesses. With operations in 26 countries, more than 46,000 employees and revenues of $20+ billion; Toray provides advanced materials through “Innovation by Chemistry.”

Toray Group is guided by the corporate philosophy of "Contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies, and products." As a part of the basic materials industry, we have been striving relentlessly to develop and commercialize new technologies and products that contribute to the global environment as well as the security, safety, and quality of life of people.

Stephen Keene, Director of Business Development – Toray Resin CompanyAbout Stephen Keene

Stephen Keene is the Director of Business Development for TORELINA™ PPS Resin at Toray Resin Company. Prior to joining Toray, Mr. Keene started his career in the engineered materials and chemicals industry in 1990 with Bayer Corporation in the fibers, additives, and rubber business.

Over the next 28 years, Mr. Keene served in a variety of product development, technical service, and application development roles with Bayer, ISP Elastomers, and Zeon Chemicals. With a heavy emphasis on high-performance materials for extreme service conditions, Mr. Keene worked in the engineered materials business of Celanese in product management, sales, and global account development. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and English from Texas Wesleyan University and his master’s degree in Chemistry from Lamar University.

Commercially Available PPS (Polyphenylene Sulfide)

Find all commercially available PPS grades from Toray for high-performance engineering applications here!

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