Tokyo-based Teijin Ltd.’s Netherlands-based subsidiary Teijin Aramid B.V. has opened a plant for commercial production of Endumax®, a high-performance polyethylene (HP-PE) tape. Teijin expects the plant’s production capacity to total 1,000 tons per year by the end of 2012, and aims to have a 15-percent global market share by 2015.
Described by Teijin as the “world’s strongest tape,” Endumax tape is produced from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), is 11 times stronger than steel of comparable weight and has stiffness comparable to that of carbon fiber. The lightweight, chemical-resistant tape is especially effective in thin, flat structures, the company reports. Targeted applications include bulletproof plates, tubes, and high-performance synthetic plates, as well as narrow tapes for cut-resistant gloves, ropes and nets, and other applications in which the tape would contribute added strength while lowering the weight of the material. Unlike most PE fibers, the tape does not require the use of solvent in its production, thereby offering advantages including reduced energy consumption and reduced water and air emissions.
Endumax initially was developed in Japan and later optimized through cooperation with Teijin Aramid’s development center in the Netherlands.