Thermoelectric SheetsLINTEC handles thermoelectric sheets, which utilize a phenomenon in which electric voltage is created due to temperature differences between substances to convert heat into electricity. These sheets are anticipated to provide new sources of renewable energy, as they can generate electricity merely by being attached to a surface that will create a disparity in temperature between the two sides of the lm, inside of steam pipes or on the underside of automobile hoods, for example. Existing thermoelectric conversion devices are made by placing metallic thermoelectric conversion materials between ceramic layers and are therefore expensive. The thermoelectric sheets we are developing, however, are made from resin sheets, thereby combining high exibility with low costs.Initiatives at U.S. R&D BaseIn 2013, the Nano-Science & Technology Center (NSTC) was established in the U.S. state of Texas to serve as an R&D base for LINTEC OF AMERICA, INC. At the center, the Group is moving forward with the development of next-generation materials, such as carbon nanotube sheets and articial muscle, through industry–academia collaboration with the University of Texas at Dallas.Carbon Nanotube SheetsCarbon nanotubes, or cylindrical carbon materials with diameters measured in nanometers, are gathering attention as a completely new type of material, boasting exceptional resil-ience toward bending and pulling, despite being incredibly light, while also demonstrating superior electricity and heat conduction properties. Standard carbon nanotubes come in the form of a powder, making them difcult to handle. However, NSTC has developed a technology that allows for carbon nanotubes to be processed into sheets without dimin-ishing the qualities of this material. For example, carbon nanotube sheets can be used for such applications as electrode materials in the electricity storage devices of electric vehicles and also contribute to higher capacity and smaller size for these systems.Articial MuscleNSTC is moving forward with the development of articial muscle, a type of drive system engineered to mimic the muscle tissue of living organisms. NSTC manufactures articial muscle using synthetic resin and other high polymers. Despite employing a relatively simply manufacturing process, NSTC’s articial muscle is able to stretch and contract for a wide range of motion while limiting manufacturing costs. Looking ahead, we antici-pate that this product will be used in a diverse variety of elds, including in robotic exoskeletons for supporting nursing care.In November 2011, our articial muscle technology was named the Gold Winner of the R&D 100 Market Disruptor Product Special Recognition Award in the 2015 R&D 100 Awards, which are sponsored by R&D Magazine of the United States and are sometimes referred to as the “Oscars of Invention.”Ceremony for presenting 2015 R&D 100 Awards25LINTEC ANNUAL REPORT 2016


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