For years now, the company has been researching and developing glass materials, and technologies for circular processing, precision polishing and cleaning. In order to expand the electronics and energy materials operations through the integrated use of these technologies, Asahi Glass has opted to enter the HDD glass substrate business, which is expected to grow in the future.
Anticipating that its customers would adopt perpendicular magnetic recording technology in their manufacturing processes, Asahi Glass said it is utilizing high strain point glass for its substrate. To harden the glass, the company has developed its own proprietary technology, unlike the commonly used chemical techniques. With the proprietary technology, Asahi Glass is now able to produce glass substrates with a high thermal resistance. The substrate can also maintain its strength even if it is thin.
Currently, Asahi Glass is making glass substrates for HDDs on an experimental basis at its Japanese plants seeking to produce them in volume. The company also plans to begin manufacturing this substrate in October 2005 at Asahi Glass Precision Technology Co. Ltd, a wholly owned Thai subsidiary established in January 2005. The project is estimated to require about 2.0 billion yen. Through these efforts, Asahi Glass aims to earn about 10.0 billion yen in sales from this business in 2007.