A Product of 10 Years of Work, Poketone™
Creating something from nothing requires painstaking efforts. But it is not only writers who have to suffer such pain to create their work. Similarly, creating a new chemical material requires much time and energy. POKETONE™, the world’s first commercialized polyketone is a good example.
POKETONE™ is an environmentally friendly polymer that was developed by Hyosung for the first time in the world. It is known as the next-generation material for its superior properties. Its name may sound foreign to many but it has been widely used in our everyday goods such as toys, portion plates, automobile and electronic goods.
This globally recognized non-toxic polymer made of carbon dioxide has been captivating companies and brands that prioritize sustainability across the world. Since the invention of nylon, POKETONE™ is the only material that has emerged as the next-generation material. And this is how it was invented.
A plastic material of dreams
POKETONE™ is the world’s first and only material of its kind, known as the plastic of dreams. Countries known for their highly advanced chemical technology and innovation like the US and Japan had embarked on development of such a material as early as the 1980s but all had failed to reach commercialization. With the commitment to better the life of humanity as a whole through new technologies and materials, Hyosung pursued the R&D of polyketone-related technologies. Hyosung’s management continued to encourage and provide support to its research team to create a new material that did not exist.
Hyosung Chemical R&D team strenuously worked on the development while experimenting with different research environments (i.e. varying temperatures and catalysts). It was seemingly an endless journey with no sign of a breakthrough. Since 2004 when the research begun, around 50 billion won of investment has been made over the period of ten years.
There was even an interesting incident of when the R&D team tried a superstitious ritual in which food is offered to the spirits of the ancestors to bring good results. This shows just how the entire R&D process had been a long and difficult journey.
In November 2013, Hyosung Chemical finally succeeded in developing the new material, polyketone.
But after the short-lived joy came another round of painstaking efforts to commercialize this new polymer. It was also followed by a thorough market study to look into applicable areas, usage and customer demand for a rapid commercialization of the new material. All of this has contributed to a successful and stable supply of the new polymer in the engineering plastic market.
In 2015, Hyosung’s establishment of the new POKETONE™ production site with an annual capacity of 5 million tons elevated the entire engineering plastic industry to a whole new level of technology and opportunities.
Eco-friendly engineering plastic, POKETONE™
POKETONE™ is made of carbon dioxide and olefin (a class of chemicals that include ethylene, propylene) and emits less greenhouse gas in the process of manufacturing. This new polymer exhibits superior properties than existing engineering plastics and has emerged as the next-generation material that will play a key role in the manufacturing parts industry. It is all thanks to its superior properties such as impact resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, fuel resistance and nontoxicity.
The more we produce POKETONE™, the more we use, and thus reduce carbon dioxide. As such, it will serve as the key material toward a more sustainable future.
Stronger and safer material applied in our everyday life
With its superior abrasion resistance, Hyosung’s polyketone is nontoxic and safe for the human body. It is approved by the European Parliament’s regulations on the substance of very high concern (SVHC) for all of the 224 types as well as secured ‘Free’ status by the US FDA for its VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) classification on harmful materials such as phthalates and formaldehyde.
It is approved for the use of conveyer belt parts for water cooler and food processing, medical device parts, and mold for contact lens manufacturing for its safety. It is even safe for children to use. As children tend to explore with their mouths, toys and suction plates made of Hyosung polyketone are safe to use.
Ushering into a future of the next-generation engineering plastic
Hyosung POKETONE™ exhibits 2.3 times stronger impact resistance and 30 percent higher chemical resistance than that of nylon. When it comes to abrasion resistance, it is 14 times stronger than that of polyacetal. As such, it has great potentials in eco-friendly vehicles and next-generation industrial materials. Particularly, it will be useful in areas that require special materials such as automobile (i.e. fuel line, exterior/interior materials, electric and electronic parts).
The engineering plastic market requires a detail-oriented customization process in order to develop products befitting different customer needs which is not expected for conventional plastic products. This is why the production cycle takes up to a couple of years from product planning to manufacturing. This is where the role of a solution provider comes in handy in order to be able to identify a product’s technical characteristics while understanding demands from engineering resins and customer’s application.
Hyosung Chemical understands polyketone better than any other players in the market – not to mention the fact that it developed and commercialized it as the world’s first and only manufacturer to date. As such, the company is best positioned to play the role of a solution provider that offers the technology and product line-ups needed to produce customized products.
A green future shaped by POKETONE™
The global engineering plastic market has been growing 7.2 percent per annum from 66.2 billion dollars of 2016 to be expected to reach 132.8 billion dollars by 2026. Global sales volume of polyketone has also been a steep rise from 912 tons of 2016, 8,542 tons of 2020, to more than 200% increase to 18,220 tons of 2021.
It exhibits excellent toughness, abrasion resistance, tensile strength and elasticity with superior impact resistance and chemical resistance too. With this excellent properties, polyketone has emerged as the best alternative material to existing engineering plastics.
Hyosung POKETONE™ is leading the ever expanding engineering plastic market. With no intention to be complacent, Hyosung Chemical has been putting a lot of thought into how to capture carbon dioxide from power plant emission to produce POKETONE™, in order to enhance the eco-friendliness of production.As such, POKETONE™ is preparing a transition into a greener way of manufacturing by using the pollutant as raw material and recycling resources. In doing so, Hyosung Chemical POKETONE™ is to grow into a global leading brand in the engineering plastic market in the world.