Technology overview: As the intensity of electric/ electronic parts and semiconductor element is increasing including various daily supplies, office automation devices, electric/ electronic products, and mobile phones, product damage caused by static electricity and contamination by dust and particles is a big problem in various parts assembly, transportation, delivery, and packing processes. In order to reduce such damage, apply antistatic, power failure dispersion, and conductive functionalities to materials used in assembly, transportation, delivery, and packing using electro-conductive CNT (carbon nano-tube).
CNT is one of the appropriate materials for such requirements because it has outstanding electro-conductivity and stable chemical structure. However, the biggest issue is to solve difficulties with dispersibility in using CNT. Surface treatment researches such as introducing chemical functional groups have been known to disperse CNT completely in various metrics, but there is no case throughout the world of developing environmentally friendly mass-surface-treatment technology as shown in this research. Moreover, developing the formulation of dispersion liquid and paint that can coat various base materials (plastic and metal) with surface treated CNT; the company enhanced adhesive property with the base material, realized excellent paint film quality and electro-conductivity, and achieved commercialization for conductive coating sheet by implementing mass production coating process system based on technical cooperation with small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Industrialization: Conductive polymer made of competitive materials for ESD are commonly used in the market, but the shortage of conductivity created in the marginal areas has been raised as a problem, including nonuniformity of surface resistance after vacuum forming. On the contrary, CNT paint combines binder adjusting technique and film coating technique using CNT that has big aspect ratio and excellent elasticity, and creates CNT using ESD market through painting technology that secured high tension, uniformity, and durability. Also, existing CNT surface treatment technique has insufficient mass productivity and many problems such as creating waste acid because it uses long-time batch process by using strong acid like sulfuric acid, nitric acid, or hydrogen peroxide, but continuous mass production surface treatment technology for CNT using environmentally friendly supercritical water oxidation process was secured through this industrialization, and developing various application products becomes possible through this technology.
Problem-solving in industrialization: Recognition in the market for nano-material is poor and the business has high entry barriers of new market creation. Because CNT is still expensive material, it is hard to determine the price of application products.
It may be considered that black in CNT will be unfavorable for transparency in base material after coating, but technology close to the transparency of conductive polymer can be secured, thanks to recent enhancement in film coating technique and paint formulation. Test data for superior performance of CNT paint compared to existing conductive polymer being used for ESD was proposed, and products satisfying customer requirements were quickly developed. A year of mutual technical cooperation between Hanwah Chemical’s technologies (nano-substance surface treatment technology, nano- paint manufacturing technology, and nano- coating technology) and SMEs’ technology (plastic mass production technology), and improvement of facility and paint are meaningful industrialization that provides synergy effects and creates markets.
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