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Research & Development

Research & development strategies and policies

Development policies

Development policy diagram

Our motto in developing and proposing products is "Put our head together with customers and resolve issues." We bring out the potential of clay considered to have 1,000 uses with our technologies and provide products appropriate for customers' needs.

Structure for collaboration

Cooperation system chart

Vertical collaboration in the process of new product development ranging from basic research and applied development to product proposal is realized by conducting joint research with universities and public research institutes, making proposals for and serving customers, and conducting joint research with them as needed. In addition, lateral collaboration between the Iwaki Laboratory engaged in applied development and the Kuroiso Laboratory engaged in analysis and basic research enables prompt development.

Core technologies

Technology map

Technology map

Based on application of core technologies that take advantage of the properties of clay, our products are used in various fields. Recently, progress has been made in new applied development combining core and peripheral technologies, and the clay has been used in an increasingly wider range of fields including the functional materials field.

Examples of development in new fields

The characteristics of clay minerals are utilized to promote and control protein crystallization.

Clay minerals, which have a high affinity for organic substances, are said to be the origin of life in the primitive earth.
It is known that the surface of clay has catalytic ability and adsorption ability. Currently, it is believed that organic substances are adsorbed to the surface of clay in hydrothermal vents to cause formation, accumulation, polymerization, and other reactions of biomolecules. Generally, a place where such a reaction takes place is called a magic surface, which may be a key to solving the mystery of the beginning of life.

The development of medicine is supported by the development of testing equipment and new pharmaceuticals. The process of developing a new pharmaceutical begins with a structural analysis of the target, which requires crystallized materials. If the target is an unknown protein, it takes an immense amount of time and effort to find the crystallization conditions.
We came up with the idea that if we can take advantage of the properties of clay minerals, which are said to be the origin of life, to promote and control the crystallization of proteins, the speed of development of pharmaceuticals can be increased dramatically.

Research & development

We carried out material development and evaluation tests simultaneously with the cooperation of Tokyo University of Science.
When the origin of life is mentioned, natural clay may come to your mind. We have various kinds of natural clay with globally unique properties. However, because there was a need to design a material itself in order to control the properties as desired or obtain desired properties, we used our own synthetic clay as a material for development this time.

technology development
※Flick left or right to view.
Protein type Molecular weight(kDa) Isoelectric point Electric charge Number of days required for crystallization
Without AC With AC
Aprotinin 6.5 9.2 + 7 2
Avidin 14.3 9.7 + 5 1
Concanavalin A 25.6 6.0 + 26 13
Lysozyme 14.3 9.3 + N.C. 22
Thaumatin 22.2 8.3 + 55 25
Trypsin 23 10.1 + N.C. 34
Albumin 66 4.7 - N.C. 14
Catalase 240 5.5 - 12 5
Gulucose isomerase 172 5.0 - N.C. 2
Proteinase K 28.9 8.3 - N.C. 8
L-Lactate dehydrogenase 32.8 5.9 - N.C. 5
Xylanase 21 9.0 ± 8 2

Heterogeneous nucleation of protein crystals on fluorinated layered silicate. PLoS ONE. Vol6, Issue7, e22582, July, 2011.

Crystallization of a protein was an unknown territory that we had not entered, and we had to do demonstrations under various conditions and reflect the results of those demonstrations in material development, and faced a lot of difficulties.
However, researchers' strong desires to contribute to the development of new pharmaceuticals and to take on new challenges in the unknown territory enabled us to overcome these difficulties, and finally, a new product, ACCELL CORE, was completed.
Using ACCELL CORE in the process of crystallization makes it possible to crystallize proteins that could not be crystallized previously, and significantly reduces the time required for crystallization.
The potential of ACCELL CORE is still growing.
ACCELL CORE will further grow in the future through customization to suit various needs, such as pharmaceuticals that can selectively promote crystallization of a certain target, or those that work on a wider range of targets.
We will continue to pursue the potential of clay minerals and contribute to society by taking advantage of their unique properties.

Research & development facilities

Kuroiso Laboratory

The Kuroiso Laboratory always accepts requests for contracted evaluation tests and analyses on bentonite.

※Flick left or right to view.
Field Item Equipment available / used
Properties of bentonite Water content  
Amount of methylene blue adsorption  
Amount of leaching cations  
Cation exchange capacity  
Chemical composition X-ray fluorescence spectrometer
Mineral identification Powder X-ray diffractometer
Differential thermal analysis Differential thermal analysis equipment
Electron-microscopic surface observation Scanning electron microscope
Electron-microscopic composition analysis Energy dispersion X-ray analyzer
Particle size distribution (wet / dry) Laser diffraction particle size analyzer
Full-automatic sonic sieving particle size analyzer
(Robot Sifter)
True specific gravity Dry automatic densimeter
Specific surface area Surface area measuring instrument
Ion quantification Atomic absorption spectrophotometer
Whiteness Spectrophotometer
Ion quantification Ion chromatograph
Ion quantification ζ-potential
State of work

X-ray fluorescence spectrometer

State of work

Scanning electron microscope

The laboratory also conducts contracted tests and analyses in special fields related to bentonite on a routine basis.

※Flick left or right to view.
Field Test item Test details
Green sand for casting Green sand test Compactability
Green compression strength
Surface stability
Air permeability
Moisture-condensed layer tensile strength
Silica program Total clay
Active clay
Ignition loss
Metal content
Hydrofluoric acid solubles
Particle size distribution
Residual ratio of starch
Civil engineering and building foundations Viscosity test B-type viscometer
FANN Viscometer
Rion viscometer
Soil test Soil particle density
Water content
Liquid limit, plastic limit
Permeability test
Compaction test
Pets Cat litter test Apparent specific gravity
Cat litter solidification test
Deodorizing power
Water absorption

In addition to conducting contracted tests and analyses, the laboratory holds courses for green sand engineers. Over 120 courses have been held, starting 30 years ago.

State of work

At a course for green sand engineers ①

State of work

At a course for green sand engineers ②

Iwaki Laboratory

The Iwaki Laboratory always accepts requests for various kinds of granulation and contracted development of refined clay or synthetic clay.

※Flick left or right to view.
Field Item Major equipment available / used
Paint thickeners
Lipophilization treatment
Silicate mineral synthesis
Lipophilization treatment plant
Hydrothermal synthesis device
Vacuum emulsification device
Batch kneader
Homo mixer
Resin Fillers
Clay films
Ion exchange
Cation exchange equipment
Centrifugal mixer
Wet grinding mill
Vibrated membrane filtration system
Extrusion granulation
Stirring granulation
Fluidized-bed granulation
Vertical / horizontal extrusion granulator
High-speed agitation granulator
Fluidized-bed granulator

Pilot facility for ion exchange


Lipophilization treatment plant

Element technologies

Granulation and ion exchange are described below as an example of addition of high value and an example of customization of our products, respectively:



Just by making a powder product into granules, additional functions can be given to it.

  1. Reduce scattering of powder
  2. Improve ease of handling
    Further functions can be added by mixing with other raw materials, adjusting adsorption or grain strength, or combining with a coating.
  3. Adjust the hardness (ease of crumbling)
  4. Adjust the solubility and dispersibility
  5. Prevent elution
  6. Prevent color transfer
  7. Reduce odor

We select appropriate manufacturing methods and prepare formulation plans based on your requests.


Comparison of dispersion in toluene
Left:With no treatment / Right:Organically treated clay

Ion exchange

Montmorillonite, which is the main component of bentonite, has cation exchange and its properties can be changed by changing the cation types. In addition, exchanging with certain ion species, different properties can be given to it.

  1. Adjust dispersibility in water
  2. Adjust the viscosity of aqueous dispersion.
  3. Change adsorption ability
  4. Support ions

We have been engaged in research and development of ion exchange clay using ion exchange columns for many years and have a medium-scale pilot facility.
Organically treated clay that can be dispersed in organic solvents can also be prepared by ion exchange treatment. Organically treated clay is included in our lineup of products. However, if those products cannot be used, we develop and provide prototypes of organically treated clay.

If you have any inquiries about products, please contact us here:

If you want to add high value to existing products or make a scaled up prototype of a developed product, feel free to consult us.

Development flow

We carry out contracted development according to the following basic flow (it is not the case with short-term contracted manufacture):


Interview to determine details of development


Set a preliminary study period.


Submission of contracted development specifications


Submission of an estimate


Order receipt


Fabrication of a prototype


Submission of the prototype (delivery)



The matter I want to consult you about contains confidential information ...


You do not need to disclose any details when making an inquiry. In the process of contracted development, the disclosure of detailed information is often required. Thus, confidentiality provisions are stipulated in the contract, but we will conclude a non-disclosure agreement with you if you desire to keep your information secret.