Cross section: Heat-blocking film
using ceramic balloons

Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Yasuaki Wakui) has announced that its subsidiary, Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka; President: Katsuhiko Kishi), has used a special heat-blocking film supplied by Achilles Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Shizuya Yamanaka) to develop a tent and awning material with superior heat-blocking properties. The new material, dubbed VANCOOL, was developed through a lamination process and will go on sale nationwide on April 20.

VANCOOL has a special four-layer structure that includes a heat-blocking layer that contains minute, ceramic balloons and white pigment, which allows it to efficiently reflect radiant heat from sunlight and other sources. It also has a colored PVC layer for decorative purposes. This material efficiently blocks the near-infrared rays that are the cause of radiant heat,greatly reducing the amount of penetrating heat and keeping the protected area cooler than conventional materials can.

VANCOOL heat-blocking tent and awning material.
VANCOOL heat-blocking tent and awning material.

In July 2004 Kuraray conducted tests of this material in sunlight, comparing it to a conventional awning material. Tent-like awnings of each were stretched over pipe frames, and temperatures inside and outside were measured at intervals.
The tests were conducted at the height of summer, with temperatures outdoors exceeding 35℃. Temperatures under the conventional awning consistently exceeded 40℃, while temperatures inside the VANCOOL-clad awning remained up to 7℃ cooler.

  Measured temperatures on July 7, 2004 Measured temperatures on July 8, 2004
09:00 12:00 15:00 09:00 12:00 15:00
Outside temperature (℃) 35 34 37 33 39 38
inside/under awnings*(℃)
Conventional material 44 43 48 41 49 47
VANCOOL 40 40 43 39 42 42
Difference 4 3 5 2 7 5
  • * Thermometers were attached to black ,foamed polystyrene forms under the awnings at 1.2 meters above ground level, the approximate height of the head of a person seated in a chair.

Kuraray foresees a number of uses for this material. It can contribute to improved working and living environments, reduce the burden on air conditioning equipment, and prevent the formation of heat islands. Specific applications will include decorative store awnings, awnings for home and family use, large tents for events, canvas truck covers, and factory sheds. Initial market offerings will be material for decorative awnings and large tents for events.

Product name: VANCOOL


  • (1) Blocks near-infrared rays that cause heat, giving it superior heat-blocking properties.
  • (2) Reduces energy consumption and costs.
  • (3) Has the same strength, durability, and other properties as conventional awning materials.


VANCOOL has a colored polyvinyl chloride outer layer, a heat-block layer (containing ceramic alloons and white pigment), a polyester base-textile layer, and a polyvinyl chloride inner layer.
(Depending on the application, a stain-resistant surface layer may be added.)


(1) Decorative awnings
Thickness 0.6mm
Width 94cm
Weight 640g/m²
Price ¥9,000/m (¥9,450/m, including tax)
Distribution route Manufacturers of tents and awnings
Sales targets First year: ¥20 million,
After three years: ¥200 million
(2) Tents for events
Thickness 0.6mm
Width 93cm and 104cm
Weight 630g/m²
Price 93cm width: ¥8,000/m (¥8,400/m, including tax)
104cm width: ¥10,000/m (¥10,500/m, including tax)
Distribution route Manufacturers of tents, and event promoters
Sales targets First year: ¥30 million
After three years: ¥300 million

Achilles Corporation

Headquarters 22 Daikyo-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
President Shizuya Yamanaka
Capital ¥14,640 million
Number of employees 1,931 (As of March 31, 2004)
Business With plastic processing as its core technology, manufacturing and sales of functional films, synthetic leathers, shoes, and products related to residential and civil engineering construction, automotive, electronics parts, and welfare.

Kuraray Plastics Co., Ltd.

Headquarters 1-12-39 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka (Shin Hankyu Building 9F)
President Katsuhiko Kishi
Capital ¥180 million
Number of employees 200
Business Manufacturing, processing, and sales of rubber and plastic hoses and molded products, water and sewage pipes, laminated products, and SEPTON compounds and molded materials.