Sinochem International expands presence in aramid fiber industry chain
SHENZHEN, China, Sept. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 6-8, Sinochem International made its debut at the China International Optoelectronic Exposition (CIOE2023), showcasing its entire line of para-aramid products. These innovative solutions are tailored to meet the specific needs of the optical communication industry, serving as non-metallic reinforcement materials for optical-fiber cable applications.
Optical communication cables constitute a critical foundation for high-speed information networks. In the era of new-generation communication technology, optical transport networks demand higher speeds, increased capacity and longer reach. Therefore, optical communication cables need to have superior performance attributes, including elevated strength, enhanced modulus, extended lifespan, reduced weight, minimal creep, and heightened resistance to corrosion.
Sinochem International's proprietary para-aramids are used as non-metallic reinforcing materials for optical-fiber cables, offering a compelling alternative to traditional materials like glass fibers or steel wires. They significantly augment the overall performance of optical-fiber cables while enhancing the reliability of communication signal transmission.
Aramid is recognized globally as one of the three high-performance fibers. It has an outward appearance resembling ordinary spun fibers. But compared with steel wire, aramid exhibits a strength of 5-6 times and a toughness of 2 times, while weighing only one-fifth. These fibers excel in various aspects, including high strength, elevated modulus, resistance to high temperatures, tolerance to acidic and alkaline environments, insulation properties, anti-aging characteristics, and an extended lifecycle. In the realm of optical communication cables, they have rightfully earned their place as one of the industry's specified non-metallic reinforcement materials.
Para-aramid finds its utility not only in information communication but also in a diverse range of sectors, including new energy vehicles, rail transit, electronics, composite materials, and special workplace protection, among others.
Sinocem International entered the aramid fiber industry chain in 2013. After years of relentless independent research and development, a significant technological breakthrough was achieved in high-strength and high-modulus products in 2022, leading to successful mass production.
According to an assessment by the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the company's high-strength, high-modulus para-aramid products meet international benchmarks in terms of production process and quality.
As a state-owned enterprise specializing in new chemical materials in China, Sinochem International is committed the fine chemical industry with new chemical materials as its core focus. The company has embarked on a strategic transformation, guided by an industrial chain mindset and integrated industrial layout, with an aim to establish itself as a world-class materials science platform.
Currently, Sinochem International boasts an annual para-aramid production capacity of 5,500 tons, with high-strength and high-modulus products constituting a significant 75% of the total output. Beyond its impressive production capacity, the company consistently operates at full production capacity as demand surpasses supply. Robust sales are achieved across downstream markets, including optical communication cables, special workplace protection solutions, tire rubber, and composite materials.
An industry report showed that the global and Chinese demand for para-aramid fiber in 2022 stood at 85,000 tons and 13,000 tons, respectively. From 2023 to 2025, China's demand is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 10%.
To meet this surging demand, Sinochem International is pushing forward with a 2,500-ton-per-year expansion project. Slated for completion by 2024, this expansion will boost the company's total para-aramid fiber production capacity to 8,000 tons annually.
As for future growth, Sinochem International is adopting a comprehensive strategy that spans the entire supply chain, product lines, and product lifecycle.
The entire-supply-chain approach involves both upstream and downstream expansions. On the upstream side, the company is ramping up production of the core raw material, paraphenylenediamine. On the downstream side, it is developing an array of products such as pulp, short fibers, and aramid paper. Current initiatives include a technical upgrade for a 1,000-ton-per-year specialized unidirectional fabric line and a 2,500-ton-per-year para-aramid pulp and short fiber line, creating new revenue streams.
The all-product-lines strategy aims to offer a one-stop service by industrializing a complete portfolio of products, including meta-aramid, para-aramid, and heterocyclic aramid. This is achieved through in-house research and development, and operationalized in Yangzhou.
For full-lifecycle management, the company plans to implement a multi-step approach to utilize resources and therefore recycle waste aramid products. This will not only extend the lifespan of these products but also optimize resource use.
On the aramid industrial front, Sinochem International is poised to leverage its current advantages and the broader market landscape. The company has plans to roll out timely expansions, with the goal of becoming one of the top three global producers in terms of capacity. In doing so, it aims to establish a competitive edge in product quality, cost, and supply chain management. Concurrently, by fostering innovation, the company aspires to broaden the applications for para-aramid fiber— a "noble fiber" — thereby contributing to the advancement and security of modern technology and civilization.
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