Seoul — SKC, which supplies PO and PU products, said it will soon complete the purchase of Woori Fine Chem optical materials manufacturing.
This marks SKC's entrance into polyurethane optical materials.
In addition, the purchase gives SKC access to high value-added isocyanate technology such as xylene diisocyanate (XDI).
SKC succeeded in commercialising its own PU material for optical use in August last year, and has laid the foundation for business through XDI technology.
SKC operates directly in two other high-value applications for polyurethane: semiconductor wafer polishing pads and PU for car suspension.
The company added that XDI is a key raw material for optical PUs along with high refractive monomer 'thiol'.
An official of SKC said, 'Currently, only major global companies have produced optical materials due to the technology gap.'
The Seoul-based raw materials supplier has a competitive edge because it has about 60 related patents.
'As the use of IT (information technology) devices such as smartphones increases and as society ages, the optical material market is growing,' the company said. 'In particular, PU materials have excellent optical performance such as refractive index and are light. Their market share is rapidly increasing.'
Polarising and multi-focus lenses and those which block blue light are often made of PU.
An official said that the goal is to start mass production in the first half of 2020. 'We plan to secure the market by promoting business quickly,' he said. 'We will continue to complete our specialized product portfolio with continuous investment in high-value-added PU.'