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Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) Develops World's Largest Sintered Compacts of CBN.

Tokyo, Japan, Mar 30, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has developed the world's largest sintered compacts of cubic boron nitride (CBN) to be used mainly for cutting automotive parts. The new product will be placed on the market in April.

CBN is the hardest substance next to diamond, having high corrosion resistance and causing no chemical reaction with iron. Thus, CBN is used mainly in tools for processing steel.

The sintered compacts of CBN, in which CBN grains are firmly bonded together, are used for cutting very hard material, including engine cylinders, brake disks and other automotive parts. Although grinding is now the mainstream, it involves problems with regard to disposal of waste grinding fluid and operational efficiency. Demand for CBN is expected to grow as CBN-based cutting process replaces the current grinding process.

The conventional CBN sintered compacts generally measure 5 mm in thickness. However, SDK's new products can be provided in thickness of up to 12 mm for a 29 mm-diameter disk, and up to 20 mm for a 60-mm diameter disk, both at the highest levels in the world. Specifically, the thickness of the 29 mm-diameter disk can range from 0.5 mm to 12 mm, while that of the 60 mm-diameter disk can vary from 0.8 mm to 20 mm.

So far, small chips of sintered CBN have been used as tips for cutting tools. With the development of large sintered compacts, CBN will find new applications in such rotating tools as end mills, drills and reamers. SDK is producing CBN abrasives that can be used as raw material for sintered compacts. SDK has succeeded in the development of large sintered compacts of CBN based on its technologies of producing CBN grains with excellent properties and sintering them at extremely high pressures and temperatures.

Demand for CBN-based cutting tools is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8%, due to the growth of automobile production in China and Southeast Asian countries, and the expected shift from the grinding process to the cutting process. Demand for sintered compacts of CBN is expected to grow accordingly, with the size of the world market expanding from 5.5 billion yen at present to more than 8 billion yen by 2010. SDK is planning to achieve annual sales of \1 billion in 2010 from CBN sintered compacts, including the newly developed large-sized products.

About Showa Denko K.K.

Showa Denko (SDK)(TSE: 4004)(OTC: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods) electronic equipment (hard disks for computers), and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers.

Source: Showa Denko K.K.

Showa Denko K.K.
Investor and Public Relations
Nobuhiro Kato

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Publication:JCN Newswires
Date:Mar 30, 2006
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