May 19, 2003Products

Ube Industries and Asahi Glass Company Announce Development of Novel Two-Layer Fuel Tube System, Sunbesta

Ube Industries, Ltd., and Asahi Glass Company, Ltd. (both headquartered in Tokyo, Japan) announce the development of Sunbesta, a novel two-layer fuel tube system that combines the excellent permeation and chemical resistance of ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) fluoropolymers with the strength of Nylon 12 resins.

New worldwide regulations, including CARB LEV-II in the United States, require dramatic reductions in hydrocarbon emissions from fuel delivery systems. ETFE (manufactured by Asahi Glass under the trade name Fluon®) is an excellent barrier to fuels, even those containing low molecular weight alcohols such as methanol. However, it has inadequate physical properties to meet the day-to-day abuse encountered by today's automobiles.

Nylon 12 (manufactured by Ube Industries under the trade name Ubesta®), on the other hand, has excellent physical properties including flexibility and low-temperature impact resistance. However, it is a relatively poor barrier to fuels.

By modifying both the Nylon 12 and ETFE polymers, scientists at Ube and Asahi Glass were able to create a composite system, Sunbesta, which not only takes advantage of the strengths of each material, but also maintains outstanding adhesion between layers without the use of a separate adhesive material. Last, the Sunbesta system is said to have excellent processibility in a coextrusion operation.

The modified Fluon® ETFE material is used as the inside layer of the Sunbesta system and will be available as conductive or non-conductive.

Ube America and Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers USA will market the Sunbesta system in North America.

Ube America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ube Industries, a leading manufacturer of caprolactum-related products used in a wide-range of markets including pharmaceutical, automotive, and fine chemicals. Ube also is expanding their offering to include electrolytes and polyimides.

Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Glass Company, Japan, and is a leading manufacturer of fluoropolymer resins and compounds with manufacturing facilities located in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan. In addition to ETFE, products include Fluon® PTFE, PFA, Melt Processable Compounds, PTFE Compounds, PTFE Lubricants and Aflas® Fluoroelastomers. These materials have a wide range of applications in markets including automotive, aerospace, chemical process, resource recovery, electronics, architectural, and semiconductor.


Ubesta® is a registered trademark of Ube Industries, Ltd.
Fluon® and Aflas® are registered trademarks of Asahi Glass Company, Ltd.

For further information
- David Mroczka, Ube America
TEL: +212 813 8316
- Evan Laganis, Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers USA
TEL: +610 388 4012