Our Samsung Electronics affiliate sold more than 10 million units of the newest Galaxy S III smartphone in just the first 50 days of the launch. Among many innovative and human-centric features that helped drive such spectacular popularity of the phone – “designed for humans” – is its organic design inspired by a pebble stone.
The Galaxy S III’s designers and engineers wanted light yet durable material to provide an ergonomic experience with a comfortable grip and gentle curves. After intense research from the very initial stage of product planning to identify thin yet highly shock-resistant material, it was finally decided that the phone’s back cover is to be made with INFINO, the polycarbonate brand produced by Cheil Industries.
We have already shared with you here on Samsung Village how our affiliate Cheil Industries was established as a textile company in 1954 and has since grown to become a global fashion company with successful brands such as BEAN POLE, FUBU, Galaxy and Kuho. Cheil Industries has also expanded into chemicals and electronics materials businesses since the late 1980’s and now its chemicals business account for more than 40 percent of the annual revenue.
So today, we wanted to tell you a little more about some of these materials they produce.
INFINO Engineering Plastic: durable material solution
INFINO, a polycarbonate brand of Cheil industries, is a family of high-value synthetic engineering plastics used in advanced materials, such as the skin of mobile phones, laptops, monitors, and interior and exterior materials for automobiles. For automobiles, injection-molded INFINO engineering plastic can produce very smooth surfaces that make it well-suited for use on metal parts such as the door handle, radiator grille, and rear garnish.
In meeting the rapidly growing demand for polycarbonate, Cheil Industries in July completed a second plant, doubling its annual production capacity to a total 160,000 tons. With the completion of the second plant, Cheil Industries can boost its profitability as it becomes more cost competitive and expand its presence in the global marketplace for high-value engineering plastic.
In addition, Cheil Industries’ STAREX, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) resins, are also broadly used for their unique characteristics. Cheil Industries has secured the world’s biggest market shares in flame-retardant ABS resin for monitors and extrusion ABS resin for refrigerators. The world’s first developed scratch-resistant resin, which is used for the front cover of TVs or home theaters housing, has also been recognized for its innovative technology.
Staron: solid surface
Another impressive material produced by Cheil Industries is the solid surface, branded Staron. The solid surface, which is highly shock-resistant and doesn’t change color, is becoming increasingly popular for use for home and office interiors as an alternative for natural marble.
The Staron is not only more smooth and elegant in texture than natural marble, but it’s also more durable than other materials commonly used for product surfaces. Its uniform solidity also makes it difficult for water to penetrate, preventing bacteria formation and pollution. Since Cheil Industries introduced the industry’s first transparent artificial marble, it has maintained the status as the world’s No. 2 producer of the material.
PCM: eco-friendly materials
Furthermore, Cheil Industries is one of leading eco-friendly companies, developing environment-friendly materials such as PCM (post consumer materials). The PCM resin is produced from recycling plastic bottles. We can use 25 pieces of 500 ml plastic bottles to produce enough material to make up a monitor’s exterior. Recycling a ton of plastic bottles is equal to the effect of planting 512 trees. It was the first of its kind to be successfully mass produced and very useful in meeting various environmental regulations.
In particular, Cheil Industries-produced PCM boasts stronger impact resistance than existing alternatives, and its market share is growing in line with increasing demand for environment-friendly materials across a broad range of industries.
In anticipation of the rapid growth of the IT industry, Cheil Industries also introduced packaging and processing materials for semiconductors such as EMC (epoxy molding compound) and DAF (die attach film). It also played a pivotal role as the market leader by introducing the ACF (anisotropic conductive film), CR (color resist), paste, polarized plates, spread sheets, and reflective film, which are used as processing materials for display panels. Cheil Industries also produced key materials for OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes) and solar panels.
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Materials decide the shapes and functions of different goods we use every day, from mobile phones to car parts. Next time you come across new gadgets with shiny and sleek surface, or buildings made of environment-friendly materials, you might want to take a moment to see and feel what materials they are made of – and remember that our colleagues are working hard to develop stronger, lighter and more durable materials!
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