Tokyo – Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (MCI) researchers have won the SRIJ Award from the Society of Rubber Science and Technology, Japan for development of Fortimo, a cycloaliphatic polyurethane elastomer with high elasticity.
Daisuke Hasegawa & Satoshi Yamasaki of MCI and Ken Kojio, Associate Professor, Kyushu University, were presented with the award for their work developing the elastic cycloaliphatic polyurethane elastomer.
They said the market was looking for a product breakthrough beyond conventional polyurethane that combined high elasticity, durability, heat resistance and was non-yellowing. It had to be mouldable with shorter cycle times than conventional thermoplastic and thermoset polyurethane elastomers.
Developed in 2014, Fortimo is now commercially used in frames for sunglasses, tennis racket strings and wearable bands.
Mitsui intends to widen its application by focusing in sectors such as mobility, health care food and packaging.
The company said there could also be uses in automotive-use elastomer materials; elastic fibres and other clothing materials; medical tubes as well as highly durable industrial parts.
It added that it is the first material to bring together heat resistance and environmental friendliness, a combination that has proved difficult with other polyurethane products.