SAN FRANCISCO — Two versions of Dow Chemical Co.'s new polycyclohexylethylene resin were turned into readable digital versatile discs in May 20-21 trials at Axxicon Molds Eindhoven BV's disc technology center in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Dow plans to continue PCHE development, begin limited production next year and provide commercial quantities from a new Stade, Germany, operation by 2001, Henri-Luc Martin, director of anti-piracy and PCHE at Dow in Midland, Mich., said at Replitech in San Francisco.
The DVD-5 trials took place on 60-ton Arburg and Netstal presses, said Ronald van Slegtenhorst, optical media specialist in engineering plastics' technical service and development for the Dow Benelux NV unit in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.
``We don't need very high mold temperatures to get good pit replication,'' van Slegtenhorst said.
DVD molding occurred at 200§-220§ F. PCHE does not absorb water but does have good dimensional stability.
In July and August, Dow will conduct DVD-9 trials at another site, using two machines feeding one line. ``So far, we have concentrated on running one machine to set a base line,'' van Slegtenhorst said.
Dow sees PCHE being used for future higher-density optical formats beyond polycarbonate and as a traceable resin, Martin said.
Dow intends a close monitoring of PCHE supplies to help manage piracy that annually costs the entertainment industry and legitimate hardware manufacturers about $25 billion. It will be possible to track the resin in the same manner paper for currency is traceable and to match discs made vs. product used.
Dow is completing the new Stade facility's design around the polymer, Martin said.
Meanwhile, Dow will add capability to make its Calibre 1080 PC resin at the existing Stade PC plant by year-end. Also, LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd. in South Korea will be able to produce 1080 PC by mid-2001. Dow and LG Chemical Ltd. formed a joint venture to produce, market and sell PC in Asia Pacific. Currently, Dow makes 1080 in Freeport, Texas.