W-Scope’s Separator Film for Lithium-Ion Batteries; Heat Resistance to 200℃ May 29, 2012 Nikkei Sangyou Shimbun Newspaper (Unofficial Translation) The heat resistance for separator film (an insulator) for Lithium-Ion batteries produced by W-Scope Corporation (listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mother’s Board) is high. This firm has developed a new kind of separator film which has the function of preventing fires which can occur within lithium-ion batteries. Compared to the products of its competitors, W-Scope’s can handle higher temperatures. Sample shipments are already underway and mass production will be slated to commence in the latter half of this year. With a target set for 2015 by which they intend to replace approximately 30% of their shipment amounts with new product with a higher value add, they look forward to generating 30 Billion Yen in sales. The new separator developed by W-Scope increases heat resistance levels over previously developed separator film by the company. For instance, durability is increased so that there is no damage to the film if even heated to a temperature of 200℃ and held at such level for one hour. According to W-Scope, its competitors have developed separator film with a heat resistance up to 160℃, so the new material puts it at the top of the industry in terms of said heat resistance. In the case that separator film is damaged this can contribute to fire within the battery, so it is seen that demand for the W-Scope film will rise from those who seek even higher levels of safety, namely automobile manufacturers and smart-phone manufacturers. W-Scope will provide separator film with a thinness ranging from 30 micrometers to below 10 micrometers. The thinner the separator film, the more capacity it can more easily stow, and is designed for small lithium batteries used in smart telephones. W-Scope has also succeeded in increasing the rate of flow of electrolyte into and separator at twice the speed of previous film. This in turn is said to be able to reduce the production time of batteries. The new film is anticipated to be produced at the new production line of W-Scope which shall commence from June of this year. During 2013, it is seen that about ten companies will use the separator film. According to the research firm Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd, located in Chiyoda Ward of Tokyo, the worldwide market size for separator film used for small-scale lithium ion batteries, is USD635 Million (approximately JPY 50 Billion) in 2010, and in 2011 increases by 39% to USD850 Million (approximately JPY 70 Billion). Market share is currently dominated heavily by Japanese firms such as Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp. (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo), and Toray Group as well as others. W-Scope was set up in Japan in 2005 by the current President Mr. Choi who heralds from Korea’s Samsung Electronics. He could expand business by selling into new lines of advanced battery makers located in China and the United States. Furthermore, he could establish a manufacturing facility in South Korea which could greatly benefit through reduction in taxes based on Korean tax incentives, and in the process of cutting fixed costs even further, W-Scope is moving forward with more competitive pricing. For the period ending in December 2011, sales has risen to JPY 3.38 Billion and staffing stands at 113 employees. ※About Separators: Separators are one of a number of key parts of lithium-ion batteries. It is a thin polyolefin film which separates the anode from the cathode of the battery. It contains rather precise pore which allow for lithium ion only to permeate. In case of a malfunction within the lithium ion battery such as overheating, etc., the polyolefin melts, protecting the pore, so that reactions are stopped as a result of halting the permeation of ions, thereby having the function of preventing explosions.

Source: http://w-scope.co.jp/en/topics/pdf/newspaper_20120529.pdf


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