Founded in 2014, HUBEI HUIFU NANOMATERIAL CO.,LTD. （former company name : Yichang Huifu Silicon Material Co., Ltd.） is a state-level high-tech enterprise specializing in the development, production, and sales of fumed nano-powder materials, as well as the vice-chairman unit of China Association of Fluorine & Silicon Industry and the state-level fumed silica innovation incubation base. Although the company has not been established for a long time, through a series of technological innovations and the strengthening of intellectual property strategy, the company has led the domestic fumed nano powder material industry.
Continuous innovation, leading the development of industry
Fumed silica has earned the title of "industrial salt" due to its excellent properties. It is a high purity ultrafine amorphous silica product obtained by hydrolyzing and condensing chlorosilane at high temperature in hydroxide flame. It’s an important nano-inorganic chemical material widely used in rubber, plastic, paint, ink, medicine, paper, food, cosmetics, and other industries. It has the functions of thickening, thixotropy, extinction, and anti-settling, etc. Just several companies in the United States, Germany, and Japan can produce and sell fumed silica.
HUBEI HUIFU NANOMATERIAL CO.,LTD. （former company name : Yichang Huifu Silicon Material Co., Ltd.） through independent innovation, developed the technology of producing fumed silica technology with the chlorosilane high boiling mixture in the by-product of organosilane monomer as raw material. As a result, the company has mastered the technology of producing fumed silica with silicon tetrachloride, methyl trichlorosilane, and chlorosilane with a high boiling point as raw materials, thus truly realizing the diversification of raw materials. Thus, the competitiveness of the products is improved and the solution of chlorosilane by-products in the organosilicon monomer industry is solved completely. At the same time, after the absorption of the by-product HCl in the production of fumed silica, chlorine resources can be recycled, which truly realizes the green production of recycling resources between polysilicon and organosilicone monomer industries.
Huifu provides professional solutions for customers in different industries. Aiming at the current situation that domestic fumed silica products cannot be applied in high-end fields, the company organizes technical research to successfully break through the "stranglehold" technical problem of functionalization of fumed silica, developing and realizing the industrialization of Continuous surface modification technology of fumed silica, building the largest kiloton unit in China, filling the gap of domestic technology and product, realizing the domestic substitution in the hydrophobic fumed silica product and promoting the development and technological progress of China's fumed silica industry and downstream related industries.
To maintain the ability of continuous innovation, the company has formulated a series of systems, such as Reward Method for Special Contribution of Scientific and Technological Personnel, Patent Management and Incentive Method, Standardized Management and System Management Regulations, Management Method for Professional Papers and Technical reports, etc., to encourage innovation. At present, the company has 20 authorized patents and 32 pending patents, including the preparation technology and equipment of nano-powder by fumed method, the surface modification technology, and equipment of nano-powder materials, the dust-free packaging technology, and equipment of powder materials and the application technology of fumed nanometer powder materials constitute a perfect patent protection network. The company is also the domestic fumed silica enterprises with the largest number of independent intellectual property rights, two of the invention patents won the National Outstanding Innovation!
Also, the company attaches importance to foreign exchanges and cooperation, promotes the industrialization of scientific research results, and jointly promotes the circular development of nano-powder materials and related industries. The company has established long-term cooperation with Sun Yat-sen University, Sichuan University, East China University of Science and Technology, South China Normal University, and has carried out comprehensive cooperation in the key equipment and preparation technology of gas-phase nano-powder material preparation, material modification and application, talent training and other aspects. Through industry-university-research cooperation, many key common technical problems in preparation technology, key equipment design and product application of fumed silica have been solved, improving the control level of the preparation of nanometer powder by the fumed method in China, and changing the industrial development of our country in this field from following to catching.
Technological Innovation to Cope with Market Changes
After nearly 20 years of development, China has become a large country of production and consumption of fumed silica, with more than 20 enterprises producing fumed silica. Since January 2011, China has also become a net exporter of fumed silica. However, the domestic fumed silica industry is extremely unbalanced in technological development. Most enterprises only produce hydrophilic products with a specific surface area of 150m2/g and 200m2/g, but very few produce high-grade products (with a specific surface area of 300m2/g and 380m2/g) and hydrophobic products. As a result, the domestic fumed silica market has very fierce competition, and the consumption structure is extremely unbalanced for fumed silica products. The consumption of fumed silica products in the traditional fields such as silicone rubber, coatings, inks and adhesives accounts for about 85% of the total consumption of fumed silica, and the high-end fields are almost monopolized by foreign enterprises.
HUBEI HUIFU NANOMATERIAL CO.,LTD. （former company name : Yichang Huifu Silicon Material Co., Ltd.） has improved the operating rate of the device through technological innovation. The average operating rate has exceeded 90% in recent three years, far ahead at home and abroad (with the global operating rate in 2019 of about 70%, and the domestic average operating rate in the past three years of 62.6%); in addition, the company also realizes product diversification, with a full series of hydrophilic fumed silica products, and has developed more than 10 functional hydrophobic products modified by different surface modifiers, which basically cover similar products abroad. By actively expanding the market, the company has successfully broken through the monopoly of foreign companies in emerging fields such as sealants, thermal insulation materials, food, medicine, and cosmetics, with the sales of products accounting for about 45%. In addition, the company actively explores overseas markets with products exported to more than 50 countries and regions, far ahead of other domestic competitors.
The outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year has not only brought a severe impact on China's social economy but also spread around the world. The destructive impact on the silicone industry chain has become increasingly apparent, and the demand has greatly shrunk. Many small and medium-sized enterprises are on the verge of closing down. Under its strong core competitiveness, Yichang Huifu has done its best to resume work and production and develop the market while combating the epidemic. In late February, the domestic sales and export work started. Under the environment of a sharp decline in the prosperity of the whole industry, a prosperous situation of both production and sales is realized, and new breakthroughs are expected to be achieved!
Standard innovation helps enterprises act internationally
As the leading enterprise of the domestic fumed silica industry, the vice-chairman of China Silicon Fluorine Organic Material Industry Association, HUBEI HUIFU NANOMATERIAL CO.,LTD. （former company name : Yichang Huifu Silicon Material Co., Ltd.） and its wholly-owned subsidiary Guangzhou Huifu Research Institute Co., Ltd. actively participate in the formulation and certification of domestic and foreign industry standards, focusing on the construction of domestic and foreign nanomaterials standardization system. Under the auspices of Dr. Wang Yuelin, chairman of the company, the formulation, and revision of the national standard GB/T20020 Fumed Silica was completed; the revision of GB/T 26824 Nano Alumina national standard has been completed; two international standards (ISO18473-1 Nanometer Calcium Carbonate for Silicone Rubber and ISO18473-3 Fumed Silica for Silicone Rubber) have been formulated; the development of international standard ISO23157 "Determination of the Content of Silica on the Surface of Fumed Silica - Reactive Gas Chromatography" is being chaired. The international standard ISO 18473-3, Fumed Silica for Silicone Rubber, developed under the auspices of Dr. Wang Yuelin, has also been converted into the EU standard. Besides, it has invested heavily to build Guangzhou Huifu Research Institute Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary, into a platform for research, development, testing, and analysis of nano-powder materials. Currently, Guangzhou Huifu Research Institute Co., Ltd. is promoting CNAS accreditation.