KOREA (SOUTH) Hyosung develops new material to replace nylon

"The group has made a decade-long R&D investment to develop the original and high-performance engineering plastic material, which could replace other polymeric materials like nylon,” the group's vice chairman Lee Sang-woon said in a press conference.

Polyketone is used as an engineering plastic and high-strength super fiber, and end products made with the polymer range from auto parts to electric and electronics parts to fabric products, the company said. Along with the research on the new material, the company has invested in building production capacity for commercialization.

"Hyosung completed a plant for Polyketone with an annual production capacity of 1,000 tons in Ulsan last year,'' Lee said, adding that the company will expand the production capacity fivefold by 2015.

Hyosung has set a goal of securing a 30 % market share in the world's engineering plastic material market, which amounts to 66 trillion won (USD 62 billion).

Achieving this goal depends on how soon the market for Polyketone can be created, market analysts said.

Company officials remain positive about the market creation based on advancements of the new material.

"Polyketone is the most advanced polymeric material in that it is not only stronger and more elastic but a more eco-friendly polymeric material than existing ones,'' Lee Weon, senior vice president of Hyosung's R&D Business Labs and who oversees the Polyketone development project, said.

To create added value, Lee said the company is considering using the high-performance plastic material for high-end products in such areas as auto and electronics parts.

Source: Daily "The Korea Herald", Seoul; 4 Nov 2013(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)