10 June 2008
10 June 2008
Unidym, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation, and Battelle have extended their existing relationship to include an alliance focused on multi-functional nanocomposites for aerospace and transportation applications.
Under the alliance the companies will collaborate with aerospace and automotive companies, and their composite materials suppliers, which require carbon nanotube formulated coatings, sealants, adhesives and load-bearing composites. Research has shown that carbon nanotubes enhance these materials through higher strength-to-weight ratios, corrosion resistance, toughness, dampening and/or multi-functional electrical properties, such as electrostatic dissipation, EMI/RFI shielding and electrical conductivity.
“Unidym and Battelle have both been approached by customers with strong interests in seeing carbon nanotubes introduced into composite materials,” noted Art Swift, Unidym’s president and CEO. “For some time now we have supplied sample quantities of nanotubes to a variety of composite materials suppliers and their industrial customers. By aligning with Battelle, we are now able to leverage each other’s complementary strengths for the benefit of our customers.”
“Battelle and Unidym have capabilities to advance the development and commercialization of high performance composite materials,” said Carl Kohrt, Battelle’s President and CEO. “We have performed years of research into various applications of carbon nanotubes. Combining our experience with Unidym’s materials manufacturing capabilities and foundational patent portfolio provides our clients with an opportunity to accelerate the use of carbon nanotubes in nanocomposite material formulation and fabrication.”
The companies have combined resources in this way to jointly approach manufacturers and material suppliers in order to discuss the application of current research, gather specific customer requirements for high performance composite materials and present a licensing program for their intellectual property portfolios. Both companies have seen significant industrial interest in applications such as high performance carbon nanotube enhanced carbon fibre composites, carbon nanotube based thermoplastic nanocomposites that can be injection moulded, and thermoset nanocomposites that can be fabricated with various resin transfer moulding (RTM) processes and through the compression moulding of nanostructured sheet moulding compound (SMC) formulations.
As the rail sector looks to new technologies to enable it to answer sustainability, performance and cost challenges, applications for pultruded composites are set to grow, according to a new report from the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA). Lightweight, high performance, durable composites offer energy efficient solutions with lower environmental impact and reduced through-life costs in rolling stock and rail infrastructure.
Ceramicx, Ireland, has completed an 1800 m2 expansion to its production facility, doubling capacity for the manufacture of infrared heating equipment for the composites industry.
Solvay has inaugurated a new centre in Wrexham, UK, for manufacturing structural adhesives and surfacing films for the aerospace market.