April 2, 1998Management

Asahi Glass doubles the production capacity of fluorinated rubber "Aflas"

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. will double its production capacity of its " Aflas" by October, 1998. Aflas, Asahi Glass' s high performance fluorinated rubber, increasingly finds its demand in automotive parts and covering materials of electric wires.

Asahi Glass realized a small increase of the production capacity of Aflas last year to meet the demand increase by de-bottlenecking the manufacturing process. However, the demand has picked up so rapidly that even the full operation after the de-bottlenecking barely meets such increasing demand. Under such circumstances, Asahi Glass has been implementing about two billion yen investment to double the production capacity of Aflas in its Chiba Factory. After completion of the construction, which will be in October this year, Asahi Glass will have a production capacity of 1,000 metric tons per year, and expects to increase its sales to three billion yen in the year 1999.

Aflas, Asahi Glass' s own development, is basically a copolymer of tetrafluoroethylene and propylene. Its chemical, heat, and oil resistant properties make it far superior to other fluorinated rubbers. It has been used in the areas of automotives, downholes, electrical appliances, nuclear power plants and chemical plants as various O-rings, gaskets, tubes, hoses, valves, etc. Recently, because of its particular outstanding chemical resistant and electric insulative properties, its use for automotive parts like rotary shaft seals and covering materials of electric wires has been increasing rapidly.

Its use for automotive parts is mainly increasing in the United States in recognition of Aflas' strong chemical resistant properties to protect those parts from various additives contained in oil etc. Its use for covering materials of electric wires is also increasing rapidly in Japan. The total demand for Aflas has increased by 20% per year for the last few years.

Asahi Glass will continue to increase its production capacity of Aflas so as to timely meet the worldwide demand growth, and will further expand the fluorinated rubber business which is a growing field in our performance chemical business.

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Kazutoshi Sugitani , Senior Engineer
Fluorinated Resin Group
Fluorochemicals Div.
Performance Chemicals General Div.
TEL: 81-3-3218-5496
E-mail: kazutosi-sugitani@om.agc.co.jp