Research & Development
3 Group Companies Working to Expand the Carbon World
Spiralrise R&D by the carbon companies (C-Chem, NSCC Carbon, Nippon Techno-Carbon) of Nippon Steel Chemical
Carbon materials, in such forms as charcoal and suet, have been used in a variety of applications as a familiar part of life since ancient times.
Our Group has continued research and development on this familiar material from new perspectives that are not confined to traditional concepts or common perceptions. We have been successful at producing products with completely new functions by advancing our proprietary materials processing technologies to meet customer needs.
Currently, we are deepening our research to maximize the hidden potential of tar in pursuit of the possibilities of this substance producing valuable materials for use in the leading-edge industry of semiconductors, in the energy field such as for solar power generation, and in the basic materials field. Each of the carbon companies are closely related through the supply of raw materials. C-Chem supplies both NSCC Carbon and Nippon Techno-Carbon with raw materials, which they process into products, so the quality of the products supplied by C-Chem has a major impact on their processed products. For this reason, the Group shares technical information and mutually utilize their accumulated data and experience to improve quality throughout the entire Group.
This integrated cooperative system is unique among tar distillation companies and increases the competitiveness of companies throughout the Group.
R & D Topics (NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN CHEMICAL GROUP Activities)
• Needle coke
Pitch-based needle coke obtained from the high-temperature heating of pitch, the main component in coal tar, is used as a filler for synthetic graphite electrodes for electric furnaces. An electric furnace is one that discharges arcs from electrodes to return scrap to iron. The ends of the arcs in an electric furnace reach high temperatures exceeding 3,000°C, so a low coefficient of thermal expansion is required to provide thermal shock resistance, and high electrode density is required to provide oxidation resistance. The quality of needle coke developed using C-Chem’s unique technology meets these requirements. Further, a No.1 grade is under development and the Company is continuously engaged in the development of leading-edge technologies.
• Amorphous coke for specialty carbon materials
C-Chem is developing the optimum coke for silicon epitaxial processing pulling materials and blocks for ultra large CIP (Cold Isostatic Press) for use in advanced fields. This coke has excellent conductivity, heat resistance, and chemical resistance and has a huge potential for applications in new fields.
Pitch is indispensable for the production of synthetic graphite electrodes. With improving the coke grade and the pitch performance makes a major contribution to improving electrode quality. Binder pitch provides suitable viscosity to filler coke and high carbonization yield, and impregnation pitch improves the penetration of the electrode material, so the company is focusing on these by employing a range of analytical technology to develop pitches that meet diversifying customer needs.
Carbon materials for rechargeable batteries
In energy-related fields, C-Chem is engaged in the development of carbon materials for high-performance rechargeable batteries, which are indispensable in today’s ubiquitous society. C-Chem is actively contributing to realizing a low environmental load society by fully utilizing the Company’s abundant tar sources and its powder control and surface control technologies