Sekisui Chemical: sustainability for the Automotive

The SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is shaping the automotive industry transformation in the field of electric mobility with its heat management and thermal solutions.

Since it was founded in 1947, the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has consistently aimed to make a significant social and environmental contribution.

In Europe, the company established its first subsidiary in 1962 and consists of nine companies and a regional Headquarters today.

Right now, the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group employs more than 27,000 people worldwide and manufactures for a diverse array of industries and sectors, including electronics, medical, construction, automotive and the chemicals industry.

Heat management and thermal solutions

Makoto Sambongi, A.D. di Sekisui Polymatech Europe BV. Makoto Sambongi, Sekisui Polymatech Europe BV CEO.

As successful high-performance plastics manufacturer in the European and global market and to broaden its portfolio in the areas of heat management and thermal solutions, SEKISUI acquired Polymatech in 2017 – with SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE B.V. being founded in Roermond (the Netherlands) in 2018. With the company located in Europe, SEKISUI is now able to service its customers locally. “The automotive industry is facing a once-in-a-century revolution, and we can contribute to this, especially in e-mobility, with our heat management and thermal solutions”, explains Makoto Sambongi, Managing Director of SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE B.V. “Our focus is on the local production of heat dissipation materials for automobile and battery manufacturers as well as producers of driveline and chassis components”.

Sekisui Chemical: componenti per un mondo sostenibile
The SEKISUI plan recently started in Roermond, Nederland.

The products from SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE improve the performance of lithium batteries in electric vehicles.

They do not only offer high thermal conductivity but are exceptionally wear resistant for dosing equipment and there is very little degassing from the product itself.

SEKISUI has been a strong partner to the automotive industry for many years, with products that combine sustainability, innovation and efficiency. This was also part of the program at the 2019 IAA in Frankfurt, Europe’s largest motor show.

Sekisui Chemical: componenti per un mondo sostenibile
The Concept Car where Sekisui introduced its products at the Frankfurt IAA.

Trendsetter at the IAA

At the show, the company presented a futuristic concept car incorporating the most exciting SEKISUI products. Besides the company’s heat management solutions, the car also featured a new type of SEKISUI S-LEC’s interlayer film: Luminous PVB. The interlayer film facilitates the display of data-driven information – for example speed limits, pedestrian warnings and information on the traffic situation – across the entire surface of the vehicle’s windshield and side windows.

A major revelation for the auto industry. Many 2019 launched premium- and midrange vehicles use SEKISUI’s wedge-shaped S-LEC film for clear performance of the head-up display functionality.

Customized design, as a gradual transition from transparent to tinted glazing, perfectly fits the requirements of electrical vehicles.

Sekisui Chemical: componenti per un mondo sostenibile
La pellicola interlayer SEKISUIS-LEC, denominata Luminous PVB, rende l’intero parabrezza una superficie sulla quale proiettare le informazioni. The interlayer SEKISUIS-LEC, called Luminous PVB, enable the entire surface to show informations.

Another innovation presented at the IAA was SEKISUI’s AURORADE™, also known as “Color Carbon”. The woven carbon material, colored using sputtering technology, offers greater design freedom while retaining all the benefits of carbon such as low weight.

As lightweight construction plays an important role, especially in electric cars, and helps to minimize the CO2 footprint of vehicles, SEKISUI’s AURORADE™ is an important step for the automotive market towards a sustainable future.

Sekisui Chemical: componenti per un mondo sostenibile
La pellicola S-LEC adatta il colore alla luminosità ambientale, con un effetto fotocromatico anti abbagliamento. The S-LEC layer adapt colour the the ambient luminosity with a photocromatic effect.

Focus on the European market

Europe is at the center of the automotive industry of tomorrow, and trends such as CASE – Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric – are developing faster in Europe than in other regions, meaning the European market is particularly important for SEKISUI.

The company already operates a raw-materials production facility for specialty chemicals in Spain as well as three production facilities for resins, interlayer films and foams in the Netherlands, where it also has its automotive research center.

Sekisui Chemical: componenti per un mondo sostenibile
L’effetto Aurorade™ viene creato rivestendo la superficie dei tessuti con uno strato sottilissimo (dell’ordine dei nanometri) di metallo. The Aurorade™ effect is created with a very metal thin layer added.

SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE as latest addition to the SEKISUI family in Europe specializes in the production and sales of thermal interface materials in Europe.

The plant commenced production for the European market in September of this year.

Automated production in the Netherlands runs entirely on electricity with zero consumption of water, gas, or fuel.

High-volume facility has the capacity to produce heat-dissipation pastes for around 500,000 electric and hybrid vehicles.

I colori sono controllati attraverso l’applicazione di numerosi strati metallici sottili con diversi gradi di riflessione e assorbimento della luce visibile. The colours are controlled with the application of many layers with different reflection of the light.

A growing need for electric vehicles

It’s a fact that products which reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency, comfort and safety are in high demand. 2020 saw a significantly stricter average fleet emissions limit of 95 grams CO2 per kilometer come into effect.

Yet, it is not just the sustainability of its products and manufacturing processes that matter to SEKISUI.

This year, the internationally recognized market leader for sustainability and environmental initiatives was once again voted one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies.

This marks the second year in succession and the third time overall that SEKISUI has joined the ranks of the most sustainable companies.

ESG management takes center stage

Keita Kato, presidente di Sekisui Chemical. Keita Kato, Sekisui Chemical President.

“At the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group, we believe that ESG is the very essence of our business. Throughout our entire history, we have continued to manufacture products as a key component of our social contribution activities”, explains Keita Kato, President and Representative Director of SEKISUI CHEMICAL. “To reflect this evolution, we have revised and newly adopted the concept of ‘Products to Enhance Sustainability’. Looking ahead, we will redouble our efforts to promote Products to Enhance Sustainability and work to increase their share of total sales to 75% by fiscal 2022”.

In other words, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group will continue to contribute to the future of society by continuing to create innovations that help resolve social and environmental issues.

Word Michael Stoecker – Photo Sekisui Chemical