TOKYO—Asahi Kasei has decided to discontinue its Asaflex clear styrenic block copolymer business by March 2023.
The company, which has been manufacturing Asaflex at its Kawasaki Works plant since 1982, said the profitability of the business had declined in recent years and prospects were "obscure" in the major market. As a result, it has become difficult to formulate a strategy for future expansion, the company said.
Asaflex is a styrene-butadiene block copolymer characterized by "superior transparency and high impact resistance."
According to Asahi Kasei, the polybutadiene-phase (rubber-phase) dispersion in Asaflex is on a finer scale than the wavelength of visible light, making the material highly flexible and transparent.
The material can be processed through injection, extrusion and inflation molding, and is used for various applications such as packaging and wrapping, toys and medical devices.
Under its 2021 medium-term management initiative, Asahi Kasei is transforming its business portfolio for sustainability and high added value.
The allocation of management resources is prioritized based on the four perspectives of high profitability: high market growth, priority fields for provision of value and sustainability.
The decision to discontinue the Asaflex business was made in light of such perspectives, the company said.