Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering materials to the global market, announces that the research it is funding at the University of Queensland has been cited as a demonstration of the value of such collaboration.
In a seminar titled “Materials for Sustainable Energy Solutions” that was presented at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo on October 5, 2011 as part of the University of Queensland’s Global Challenges Leadership series, Associate Professor Kazuhiro Nogita described the contribution that cutting-edge facilities that the university has access to can make for the development of new materials. The theme of Dr. Nogita’s presentation was that meeting the demand for sustainable, green products in the energy and electronics sectors requires the sort of innovation that can come from industry-university collaborations such as that which has occurred between the University of Queensland and Nihon Superior in the eight-year study of lead-free soldering alloys.
The seminar, which was attended by approximately 70 people, coincided with a visit to Japan by the university’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Keniger. Professor Keniger explained how the University of Queensland was developing a closer relationship with Japan through collaborative research with Japanese companies such as Nihon Superior.
In his presentation, which was well illustrated with images and videos, Dr. Nogita explained how advanced research facilities such as synchrotrons, to which he has access in Australia and Japan, can expedite the development of new materials and the definition of their properties. For example, he explained how research at the University of Queensland had elucidated the effect of the Ni addition in Nihon Superior’s flagship lead-free solder alloy SN100C through measurements of fluidity, the study of the microstructure generated during solidification and the intermetallic that play a vital role in its service performance. The credibility of the data that has emerged from such studies has been enhanced by the fact that papers reporting the research have been accepted for presentation at major scientific and industry conferences around the world and won several best paper awards.
On the basis of the results of research undertaken at the University of Queensland, Nihon Superior’s SN100C alloy has been used in the manufacture of high-performance electric vehicles. Fifteen of the solar powered vehicles that competed in the 2011 World Solar Challenge, a 3000 km race through outback Australia, used controllers manufactured with this alloy. Of those 15, three completed the race in the top five.
Nihon Superior was founded in 1966 when it began marketing unique flux products imported from the US. The company made its mark on society by gathering the most advanced soldering and brazing technologies and products from around the world, and supplying them to companies in the metal-joining industry. A turning point for the company came when it started developing its own soldering materials and with the success of its unique SN100C lead-free solder alloy Nihon Superior has become a major player in the global market. To support the growing demand for its products, Nihon Superior has established manufacturing and sales centers in Japan, China and other Asian countries, and the United States, and formed business partnerships with companies in other markets.