BreakThrough Interview

JAXA's Technology Gives Birth to a Heat Insulating Ceramic Paint MaterialNissin Sangyo Co.

2017.03.27

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Nissin Sangyo’s showroom and heat insulating ceramic “GAINA”

JThis article covers the story of a surprising paint material born from JAXA’s rocket technology that just needs to be painted on the exterior or interior wall of houses and buildings for it to demonstrate heat insulating effects.

GAINA was born from the heat insulating material technology for space rockets

In 2005, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took applications from companies to which it can entrust its heat insulating material technology for the tip of rockets, with the purpose of putting to use the cutting-edge technology fostered through Japan’s space development research in private sectors. While there were several dozen applications including from large companies, JAXA selected Nissin Sangyo Co., Ltd. as its entrustee. The company was established in 1977 by Tatsujiro Ishiko (President) who was still a university student. Although it mainly carried out the design and manufacturing of automatic guided vehicle systems for factories, it had been conducting R&D on paint materials with heat insulating effects on its own since around a dozen years back. JAXA’s representative who conducted the technology review says, “I was surprised that an SME had such an advanced heat insulating technology.”

In 2006, Nissin Sangyo successfully developed the heat insulating ceramic, GAINA, through joint research with JAXA. GAINA features a multi-layer structure of a hollow ceramic spherical body with a 0.4-0.5mm thickness, and simply by painting it on the exterior or interior wall of houses, buildings, etc. just like general water-based paint, it demonstrates broad-ranging heat insulating effects from -100°C to 100°C. By painting GAINA on houses, it reflects and emits the heat of sunlight during summer and reduces the intrusion of heat inside rooms. During winter, it helps maintain warmth inside rooms by blocking off cold air from outdoors and not letting the heat from heaters escape outside. It is also effective in preventing condensation. In 2008, GAINA was selected as the first product to receive certification under JAXA COSMODE, a product brand that delivers JAXA’s technology to everyday life.


GAINA’s hollow ceramic spherical body

GAINA’s energy-saving effects seen throughout Japan and acknowledged by the world

In order to appeal to customers the features of GAINA that may be difficult to believe just by listening to its explanation, Nissin Sangyo set up a showroom near its headquarters where it has continued to conduct seminars for customers to experience GAINA’s superiority through experiment for over 10 years. There are around 3,000 participants each year, including people affiliated to builder’s offices and general contractors as well as general customers, and the company says that even people who are initially doubtful of the product go home convinced in the end.

Construction shops handling GAINA has spread nationwide thanks to steady PR activities, and it is broadly being used for single-family houses, apartment buildings, factories, shops, offices, public facilities, etc. Inquiries from overseas have also increased, with customers in 32 countries worldwide using GAINA. In Spain, it is painted on the roofs of trains and buses helping improve the comfort of interior space. GAINA has also been painted on stone floors heated by strong sunlight at temples in India, helping reduce the burden on worshippers that offer prayers with their bare feet. At a high school in Hawaii, GAINA has been used on the roof and exterior wall of a school building, making it possible to conduct class without air conditioning even during summer.

Furthermore, when a major shipping company used GAINA on the deck of its large-sized carrier transporting cars that navigates right on the equator, the deck temperature dropped from 65°C to 38°C, resulting in significant improvements in work efficiency. The world is watching attentively the energy-saving effects realized by GAINA.


Temple in India with GAINA painted on the stone floor

Heat insulation, noise insulation, deodorization—the spreading effects of GAINA

It has become clear that GAINA not only has heat insulating effects but is also effective in noise insulation. When painting it on an apartment, it had the effect of reducing noises from daily life coming from upstairs and the room next door. Based on a joint research between Nissin Sangyo and universities, etc., it has been discovered that GAINA turns water molecules in air into negative ions through the infrared effects emitted by ceramic, thereby preventing the adhesion of odor and stain substances, and producing an effect in improving air quality.

In 2016, Nissin Sangyo won the Iwatani Naoji Memorial Award. This is a prestigious award presented to excellent technological development related to energy and the environment. All past winners have been large companies and public research institutions, and Nissin Sangyo was the first SME to win the award.

The word “gaina” comes from a dialect in the Tottori region, Mr. Ishiko’s hometown, meaning “large” or “huge.” GAINA is growing into a presence creating even larger value, going beyond the scope of an architectural paint material.


Photo of an experiment conducted at the showroom

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