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AGC Inc.

Agriculture: High durability film "F-CLEAN™" for greenhouse

F-CLEAN™: Letting the Sunshine In

Summary

What if gardeners and farmers could improve the growth efficiency of their greenhouse plants, vegetables and fruits? What if all it took was the ability to capture more sunlight to result in earlier blooms, more vibrant petals, sweeter fruits and higher quality vegetables? It’s possible with AGC Inc. group’s technology called F-CLEAN™. This is a highly durable film for use in greenhouses which allows users to grow high-quality and high value-added crops, within a variety of applications.

Essentially, F-CLEAN™ is a fluoropolymer (ETFE) film with a much better light transmission than glass, polyethylene or polycarbonate. As a result, this allows the full spectrum of solar light to pass into the greenhouse for much production. F-CLEAN™ is treated with an anti-drip coating, which keeps water droplets from condensing along with possible drip damage to the crops. Best part is, the film has a low surface tension, allowing dirt to get washed away more readily by rain and snow.

Also, there are different types of F-CLEAN™ films for different applications. F-CLEAN™ Clear & Diffused Series can provide 93 to 94 percent light transmission that is nearly identical to that of open-field cultivation. And if the materials and tools need to be protected from UV rays, F-CLEAN™ GR Series can be used to cut UV rays without losing the light transmission.

Major Features

I. Durability
F-CLEAN™, designed to last as long as greenhouse structures, can have a service life span of about 20 years. However, there are some greenhouses that have been covered with F-CLEAN™ for more than 30 years.

II. High Light Transmission
F-CLEAN™ allows more light in than glass and far more than polyethylene (PE) film. This high level of light transmission can result in higher yields, faster growth and healthier plants, translating to higher profits for farmers and gardeners.

III. Better Crop Quality
F-CLEAN™ lets in ultraviolet light, unlike glass, which has been shown to have a positive effect on plant quality. Fruits ripen more quickly, developing a richer color. Flowers, too, have more intense coloring. They are also less susceptible to disease.

IV. Exceptional Physical Properties and Chemical Resistance
F-CLEAN™ features a high tensile strength, as well as high tear and impact resistance. It is also highly resistant to chemicals.

V. Easy to Clean and Maintain
Featuring non-stick surfaces, F-CLEAN™ is water proof and dust proof. Thanks to its low surface tension, it’s difficult for the dust to accumulate on F-CLEAN™ roofs, while snow and water simply slide off easily.

Technology Description

Conceivable Applications
Our high durability film, called “F-CLEAN™”, can be used for a variety of agricultural applications. Some examples follow:
・Greenhouses growing high-quality and/or high value-added crops.
・Drying houses (e.g., for salt, fish, and plums)

– F-CLEAN™ allows for about 93% to 94% light transmission and provides light that is almost identical to that of open-field cultivation (F-CLEAN™ Clear & Diffused Series).
– Its level of UV reduction also helps to protect materials and tools inside greenhouses from UV damage (F-CLEAN™ GR Series).

・Animal housing, mushroom cultivation, and fish farm facilities

– It blocks heat energy from solar light and prevents internal temperatures from rising (F-CLEAN™ Grey & Soft Shine).

*Applications depend on the F-CLEAN™ product grade.


Example 1: Mushroom cultivation in Japan

Example 2: Cattle housing in Japan

Example 3: Tomato cultivation in Australia

Competitive Advantage
F-CLEAN™ is a highly functional film made from ETFE resin and developed for greenhouse coverings where light transmission and weatherability are of the utmost importance.

ETFE stands for Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene. F-CLEAN™ offers a high degree of light transmission, excellent durability against UV radiation, excellent physical properties, high heat resistance, superb chemical resistance, non-stick surfaces, and outstanding electrical properties.

Excellent durability
F-CLEAN™ is designed to last as long as greenhouse structures (approx. 20 years).
There are greenhouses that have been covered with F-CLEAN™ for more than 30 years.

High light transmission
F-CLEAN™ lets in more light than glass and much more than PE film.
The high degree of light transmission offered by F-CLEAN™ could contribute to higher yields, faster growth, and healthier plants, and this means higher profits.

Improve the crop quality
Unlike glass, F-CLEAN™ lets in ultraviolet light, which has a positive effect on the quality of plants. Fruits ripen more quickly and develop a better color. Flowers gain more intense colors. The presence of UV light with F-CLEAN™ ensures that plants and fruits are less susceptible to disease and prevents undesirable internode elongation.

Excellent physical properties
F-CLEAN™ has high tensile strength, tear resistance, and impact resistance.

Superb chemical resistance
F-CLEAN™ has excellent chemical resistance.

Easy to clean
One of the valuable characteristics of F-CLEAN™ is its non-stick surfaces (water proof, dust proof).
Due to its low surface tension, it is hard for the dust to accumulate on F-CLEAN™ roofs.
And snow slides off as well.

For further information: https://www.f-clean.net/

Performance


F-CLEAN™ General Properties

・F-CLEAN™ Clear (UV-Open) enables extremely high light transmission.
・There are three types of UV reducing film available to suit the needs of different plant types.
・The level of UV reduction also helps to protect materials and tools inside greenhouses from UV damage.
・The film maintains its UV reduction capacity for a long time.

Technical maturity
・Since 1985, we have sold a cumulative area of F-CLEAN™ of about 4,000 ha.
・Projects widely vary in size, from 300 m2 to 200,000 m2.
・Larger scale tends to generate better efficiency, while taller structures tend to have better climate conditions inside.


F-CLEAN™ General Properties

F-CLEAN™ General Properties

Conceivable risk
・Waste management (Do not dispose of F-CLEAN™ by burning it, as this may release hazardous gases and fumes.)
・Dispose of F-CLEAN™ in cooperation with your local waste processing company. Check with the appropriate regulatory authorities for disposal methods.
→ Please refer to the Material Safety Data sheets (MSDS).
We will send you MSDS as necessary.

・Users do not see sufficient performance because they do not understand how to apply the film.
→We will provide user/client installation crews with the information for proper installation.

Language

English, Japanese

Company Data

Company Name
AGC Inc.
Address
Shin-Marunouchi Bldg., 1-5-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8405 Japan
The Type of business
Manufacturing and sales of Glass, Electronics, Chemicals, Ceramics/Other
Capital
90,873 million JPY (As of the end of December 2016)
Number of employee
50,963 (As of the end of December 2016)
Establishment
September 8, 1907

Contact

Contact person
Mr. Yuichiro Ogata
Telephone
+81-50-9014-4628
Fax
+81-3-3218-7800
Web
Mail
yuichiro-ogataagc.com

※This innovation seed information is reprinted with permission from UNIDO ITPO Tokyo’s STePP website.

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