TOKYO—April 11, 2023—DIC Corporation today announced the development of WATERSOL®–LB, a waterborne anode binder for lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). As a waterborne product with a low environmental impact, WATERSOL®–LB helps prolong battery life by, among others, suppressing expansion and ensuring low internal resistance. The Company has commenced sample shipments and will establish a global supply framework to facilitate sales in Japan, the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC), the United States and Europe, with the goal of realizing annual sales of ¥1.0 billion in fiscal year 2025.
Conceptual diagram of the internal structure of a LiB
Product page on the DIC global website: https://www.dic-global.com/en/products/watersol_lb/
Background to development
Since their commercialization in Japan in the 1990s, LiBs have become the power source of choice for everything from electric vehicles (EVs), smartphones, mobile phones and laptop computers to power tools, industrial machinery, aircraft, light fixtures and small cordless household appliances. The increasing sophistication of these and other products employing LiBs continues to drive the need for battery materials that contribute to improved performance by enhancing durability (increasing lifespan), range (extending run time) and charging speed (shortening charge time).
Description of WATERSOL®–LB
Anode binders act as adhesives to hold together the anode materials and active materials—into which lithium ions are inserted during charge and extracted during discharge—and cohere them to other additives and the current collectors. They thus constitute a critical component that influences both the mechanical strength of the electrodes and the overall performance of the LiB.
DIC’s new WATERSOL®–LB is a synthetic acrylic LiB anode binder. Because it is waterborne, it exerts less of an impact on the environment during manufacturing than solvent-based binders. Conventional anode binders pose several challenges, including a tendency to deteriorate in high- or low-temperature environments, and difficulties responding to the volume expansion and contraction of high-capacity silicon active materials. DIC’s new waterborne offering achieves a significant improvement over conventional binders in terms of capacity retention during charge and discharge at temperatures as high as 45°C and as low as −10°C. This new product also makes it possible to reduce a LiB’s internal resistance, making it suitable for both high- and low-capacity anode materials. DIC is confident that WATERSOL®–LB’s ability to satisfy these and other advanced performance requirements will play a key role in prolonging battery life.
In its DIC Vision 2030 long-term management plan, DIC set forth a basic strategy of creating new businesses in response to environment, safety and health (ESH)-related issues and social changes. In the area of sustainable energy, a pivotal focus is to commercialize functional materials for next-generation secondary batteries and fuel cells. Going forward, the Company will continue contributing to sustainable prosperity for society through the development and provision of sustainable products that respond to social imperatives by helping decrease energy consumption and environmental impact.
About DIC Corporation
DIC Corporation is one of the world’s leading fine chemicals companies and the core of the DIC Group, a multinational organization comprising over 190 companies, including Sun Chemical Corporation, in more than 60 countries and territories. The DIC Group is recognized as a global leader in the markets for a variety of products essential to modern lifestyles, notably packaging materials, display materials such as those used in television and computer displays, and high-performance materials for smartphones and other digital devices, as well as for automobiles. Through such products, the Group endeavors to deliver safety and peace of mind, and color and comfort, to people everywhere. The DIC Group also seeks to contribute to a sustainable society by developing innovative products that respond to social change and which help address social imperatives. With annual consolidated net sales exceeding ¥1 trillion and 22,000-plus employees worldwide, the Group pledges to continue working in close cooperation with our customers wherever they are.
About Sun Chemical
Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC Group, is a leading producer of packaging and graphic solutions, color and display technologies, functional products, electronic materials, and products for the automotive and healthcare industries. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical is continuously working to promote and develop sustainable solutions to exceed customer expectations and better the world around us. With combined annual sales of more than $8.5 billion and 22,000+ employees worldwide, the DIC Group companies support a diverse collection of global customers.
Sun Chemical Corporation is a subsidiary of Sun Chemical Group Coöperatief U.A., the Netherlands, and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.A. For more information, please visit our website at www.sunchemical.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.