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Toray Scoops Prestigious Chemical Society of Japan Prize for Advanced Textile Development

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Mar. 29, 2023

Toray Industries, Inc.

Tokyo, Japan, March 29, 2023 – Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that it has won the Chemical Society of Japan’s Award for Technical Development for 2022 for the “Development of Highly Functional Textiles by Precise Control of Fiber Cross-Section Morphology.” This is the second straight year for Toray to receive recognition in this prize category for its advances in nanotechnology.

The award recognizes the creation of “NANODESIGN”, an innovative conjugate spinning technology that employs a new technology to freely and precisely control the cross-sectional shape of composite fibers, and the successful commercialization of advanced fibers leveraging “NANODESIGN”. 

Manufacturing synthetic fibers entails melt spinning. This means melting and extruding a polymer through a multi-hole spinneret. Conjugate spinning conventionally involves geometrically arranging two polymers with different properties to create composite fibers. This approach develops functional materials with enhanced fiber properties. That is otherwise hard to do with single-component spinning. One downside of conjugate spinning is that there are numerous challenges in setting conditions to stabilize a morphology of two polymers with different properties. Another is limitations to enhancing cross-sectional morphology and the types of applicable polymers.

People seek more comfortable lifestyles as they become more affluent. Toray has endeavored to match demand for even more advanced food, clothing, and housing materials by developing advanced control technologies for polymer combinations and molding conditions. The company innovated a flow control mechanism that fundamentally changes the cross-sectional formation mechanism of conventional technologies. Its breakthrough conjugate spinning technology precisely controls fiber cross-section shapes.

“NANODESIGN” makes it possible for fiber designs to incorporate the required functions of fabrics, nonwovens, and other textile materials, including the cross-sectional shapes and polymers in the fibers.

Toray has leveraged “NANODESIGN” to make it possible to develop comfortable clothing fibers that combine natural looks with the functionality of synthetic fibers. Conventional fibers cannot match these capabilities. These advances include Kinari, a fabric that performs like natural silk. Another is Camifu, whose flat C cross-sectional shape combines excellent water absorption and fast drying with a natural feel. There is also Qticle, a stretch fabric with grooves like wool scales on a crimped fiber surface layer for outstanding colorability. The company will endeavor to expand new high-performance fibers created with “NANODESIGN” for apparel. It will also keep developing industrial materials through life science product applications, thereby contributing to better living.

Toray will leverage core technologies in organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biotechnology, and nanotechnology to progress in conceiving innovative technologies and advanced materials. At the same time, it will endeavor to materialize its corporate philosophy of contributing to society by creating new value through innovative ideas, technologies, and products.

“NANODESIGN” is a registered trademark of Toray Industries, Inc.

Award winners on left and high-performance textiles created with “NANODESIGN

Link to Japanese-language article on award-winning technology in Chemistry & Chemical Industry magazine of the Chemical Society of Japan: 

This conjugate spinning technology divides raw resins (polymers) into a large number of fine flows that quickly discharge and converge. It is thus possible to design cross sections of composite fibers far more precisely than with conventional technology.
Website: https://www.nanodesign.toray/en/

Toray’s Technical Development Awards from Chemical Society of Japan
1951 Research on polyamide synthetic fibers and establishment of related production technology
1964  Development of photonitrosation of cyclohexane process to manufacture -caprolactam
1971 Disproportionation of the toluene process and pure cyclohexane production technology
1973 Development of suede-like one-layer structured artificial leather
1976 Establishment of production technology and industrialization of polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fiber
1988 Development of Toray Waterless Plate system
1992 Development of cross-linked aromatic polyamide composite reverse osmosis membrane
1996 Development of para-based aramid film
1999 Development of biphenyl epoxy-type molding compound for surface-mount devices 
2000 Development of endotoxin-adsorbing column for treatment of sepsis
2003 Technology for forming barrier ribs on plasma display panel by applying photosensitive glass paste
2010 Development and commercialization of positive photosensitive polyimide coatings by using partial esterification
2013 Practical application of composite materials for lightweight aircraft
2014 Development of innovative reverse osmosis membranes based on new molecular and structural design
2017 Development of high performance CFRP with the use of epoxy resin NANOALLOY technology applying reaction-induced phase separation
2019 Development and commercialization of high-performance positive photosensitive siloxane coatings
2021 Development and industrialization of polybutylene terephthalate and polycarbonate co-continuous high-performance nano-alloy via spinodal decomposition
2022 Development of highly functional textiles by precise control of fiber cross-section morphology