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Japan Edit – February / March 2020

News International-French

25 Mar 2020

The Japan Edit is a monthly curation of business news and reports which have a direct impact on the Japanese - and global - composites industry.

A badminton racket for accurate shots with a twist
The Japanese company Mizuno provides a variety of sports equipment and has a proven track record in baseball and golf in particular, but it is the first time in 20 years that it started manufacturing badminton rackets.

Mizuno took advantage of their technology and experience in other competition products. For instance, the material used for a golf club shaft, a proprietary, durable composite made of carbon nanotubes and carbon fibres, is also used in the new badminton rackets to achieve a lightweight and hard-to-blur shaft. Originally, reducing weight resulted in strength problems. However, the use of a strong material solved the problem, and the reduced weight resulted in additional benefits. Badminton differs from baseball and golf in that it is not a game of flying, but a game of how to hit accurately a shuttle (shuttlecock). The racket is hard to use if it is too light and cannot shake if it is too heavy. Technology was used to adjust hardness and softness rather than sticking to weight.

Mizuno Badminton Racket Fig.1: Joint part

Nozomi Okuhara, a Japanese professional badminton player found her best “partner” in the racket developed by Mizuno and will challenge competitors in the Tokyo Olympics. Okuhara not only focused on “strength”, which controls the strength of the ball, but also on “ball holding”, which improves control. She wanted to hold the shuttle with a racket for as long as possible to hit the target location. In order to achieve this, the company studied the racket “twist”, which had not been considered before as the parts commonly inserted into the joint between the surface and the shaft prevent twisting.
The idea was that a badminton racket is swung with a twist of the wrist, so it would be difficult to deliver the maximum power to the shuttle without some amount of twisting. By adjusting the carbon fibre and resin used for the joint, a twist of about 3 to 5 mm was generated. This is how an innovative badminton racket was created.

Mizuno Badminton Racket - Fig.2: Carbon material used for joints

More information:  www.mizuno.jp - Read the original article


Sekisui Plastics’ high-performance foam material adopted for wind power blades
Sekisui Plastics announced that their ST-LAYER, a CFRP/GFRP composite foam moulded product with a high-performance foam core, was adopted for wind power blades for the NTN Green power station, a power generation station that uses NTN's natural energy. In addition, Sekisui Plastics will contribute to the prevention of regional disasters by installing this power generation station at a group company located in Tenri City, Nara Prefecture.

The ST-LAYER is a composite structure using the company's highly heat-resistant and high-strength ST-Eleveat engineering plastic foam as the core material. Because of its light weight and high strength, the size of the blade can be increased, contributing to higher output and improved power generation efficiency. This was the first application of a structural material that combined ST-Eleveat with the ST-LAYER core material.

Sekisui Plastics’ high-performance foam material adopted for wind power blades

At the installation facility, the power generated by wind and sunlight is stored in the battery built into the NTN Green power station, and the LED lights are automatically turned on at night. The stored power can be output externally as an emergency power supply. It can be used to power street lamps designed to illuminate disaster-stricken areas that have lost power, or as an emergency power supply under unstable conditions such as the shutting down of communication means.

The company intends to contribute to society both by developing environmental businesses that make use of the characteristics (light weight and high strength) of ST-LAYER, and by implementing disaster prevention and mitigation solutions in collaboration with local communities.

More information:  www.sekisuiplastics.com - Read the original article


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ships 1000th 787 composite wing
On February 10, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipped a composite wing for the 1000th Boeing 787 from the Composite Wing Center of the Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works, thirteen years after the main wing for the first aircraft was shipped in May 2007.

The wing will be transported to the Central Japan Airport (Centrair) and to the Charleston plant in South Carolina, U.S.A. by a dedicated freighter, the Dream Lifter (Boeing 747-400LCF).

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ships 1000th 787 composite wing

The 787 is the first passenger aircraft to use a composite wing made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) material. This material has superior strength, rigidity and corrosion resistance compared to

conventional aluminium and titanium alloys.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries used technological innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technology, and introduced automatic drilling machines, seal coating robots, outfitting moving lines, etc. to improve quality, increase production, and reduce costs. The company also improved efficiency through automation and labour saving.

More information:  www.mhi.com - Read the original article


3D Printing Corporation and Asahi Kasei launch the 3dpc.parts carbon fibre 3D printing service

Last March, 3D Printing Corporation and Asahi Kasei Corporation launched a new 3D printing service called 3dpc.parts.

This service allows customers to order parts directly through the 3dpc.parts web portal or the “[email protected]” e-mail address. With this service, it is possible to output large parts of 1m or more, which is the industry's largest class for a 3D printer using CFRP, and the strength is almost the same as with the conventional manufacturing method. The parts are produced at 3D Printing Corporation's 3D printing model factory SE3D 1.

3D Printing Corporation and Asahi Kasei launch the 3dpc.parts carbon fibre 3D printing service

With 3dpc.parts, parts that could not be produced via the conventional manufacturing method can now be output using a 3D printer. The service is also expected to be used in growing sectors such as drones, heavy industry, civil engineering, aerospace and high-performance sports equipment.

More information:  www.3dpc.co.jp - www.asahi-kasei.co.jp - Read the original article



SUWA rocket successfully launched from Lake Suwa
SUWA rocket successfully launched from Lake Suwa
The SUWA Small Rocket Project, led by six municipalities in the Suwa region and the Shinshu University Engineering Department (Nagano City), organized the launch of the Unit 5 rocket on Lake Suwa for the first time on March 1st. The rocket opened the mounted two-stage parachute and landed in the predicted area.

The project began in 2015 and all the launches were performed in Noshiro city, Akita Prefecture.

The Unit 5 rocket is made of a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) material and has a total length of 205 cm and a diameter of 10.2 cm. It is equipped with a hybrid rocket engine that uses both solid and liquid fuel and weighs 9 kg (without oxidizer).

The launch was a success and the research project is expected to continue and to contribute to the region’s development.

More information:  www.shinshu-u.ac.jp - Read the original article