Press ReleasesNippon Paper Industries Achieves Integration of Cellulose Nanofiber with Urushi, Traditional Japanese LacquerExhibiting Lacquerware Using CNF-Mixed Lacquer at EcoPro 2017

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Fumio Manoshiro; hereinafter "Nippon Paper Industries") announces that it conducted a joint study on the addition of cellulose nanofiber, a leading-edge material made from wood (hereinafter "CNF"; Nippon Paper Industries' Product Name: "CELLENPIA®"; see note), to urushi (traditional Japanese lacquer) with Dr. Tetsuo Miyakoshi, professor emeritus of Meiji University, and Mr. Akira Ishii, lacquerware artist, and recently it learned that urushi mixed with "CELLENPIA®" exhibits higher gloss and strength than normal urushi.

Lacquerware coated with urushi mixed with "CELLENPIA®"

(Produced by Akira Ishii, lacquerware artist)

Traditionally, sap collected from lacquer trees has mainly been refined for use as a coating material. The lacquer coating increases the strength of wooden or paper containers to make them more durable. As it also provides a beautiful finish, lacquerware has long been admired as a traditional craft at many different places in Japan.

Amid recent growth in demand for lacquer, the lacquer itself is required to have enhanced performance, such as a longer life for the lacquer-coated surfaces. Dr. Miyakoshi, Mr. Ishii and Nippon Paper Industries focused on the fact that CNF is wood biomass and embarked on the joint study to add "CELLENPIA®" to urushi in January 2016. This study aimed to establish a method of adding CNF to the lacquer and to verify its effect. Recently, the study team confirmed that the addition of "CELLENPIA®" resulted in higher gloss on the coated surface and considerably greater bending strength than in regular lacquer. The study successfully improved the functionality of lacquer. Moreover, along with higher gloss and strength, the addition of "CELLENPIA®" is expected to provide a coat with sufficient thickness to slow deterioration. In the future, the study team will move forward with the development of a new lacquer product through the integration of tradition and state-of-the-art technology.

Nippon Paper Industries will take part as an exhibitor in the EcoPro 2017 exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight from Thursday, December 7 to Saturday, December 9. Lacquerware using the lacquer mixed with "CELLENPIA®" mentioned above will be on display in its exhibition booth. In addition, Dr. Tetsuo Miyakoshi, lacquer researcher and professor emeritus of Meiji University, will be delivering a special lecture on the combination of lacquer and Nippon Paper Industries' CNF product, "CELLENPIA®". You are welcome to join the event.


Nippon Paper Industries CNF Special Lecture at EcoPro 2017

-Integration of CNF with Urushi, Japan's Traditional Lacquer-

Lecturer Dr. Tetsuo Miyakoshi, professor emeritus of Meiji University
Date and Time Friday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m.
Venue Nippon Paper Industries' Booth,
Booth No. 026, East Hall 4, Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center)

(Note) "CELLENPIA®", Nippon Paper Industries' CNF products

"CELLENPIA®" is a brand of Nippon Paper Industries' CNF products. It was coined by combining the word cellulose with NPI, which is the acronym for Nippon Paper Industries in English.
CNF are ultra-fine fibers made from wood fiber (cellulose) that has been defibrated to the nano scale level by means of chemical treatment, or mechanical processing, or a combination of the two. The resulting form of CNF varies depending on the production method. A combination of chemical treatment and mechanical processing creates very fine and transparent CNF.
Its characteristics include a high crystallinity, lightweight, high-strength and low thermal expansion. It is comparable with aramid fiber in terms of tensile modulus of elasticity and quartz glass in terms of the thermal expansion coefficient.
In 2017, Nippon Paper Industries started operating the mass production facility of CNF based on the TEMPO catalytic oxidation method (TEMPO-oxidized CNF) at the Ishinomaki Mill (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture) in April, and the mass production facility of CNF based on carboxymethyl production (carboxymethylated CNF) at the Gotsu Mill (Gotsu City, Shimane Prefecture) in September. In addition, we launch the operation of the demonstration plant for CNF-reinforced plastic at the Fuji Mill (Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture) in July for presumed automobiles and home appliance applications.