Inc. (SWeNT), a privately-held specialty materials company that manufactures
high quality single-wall and specialty multi-wall carbon nanotubes for a range
of products, in partnership with Chasm Technologies, Inc. (Chasm), a consulting
firm specializing in nanomaterials and thin film coating + patterning, have
established a carbon nanotube coatings application development center at Chasm's
facility located in the Boston area.
SWeNT expanded its production capacity with a new manufacturing facility in
Norman, Oklahoma late last year, increasing its single-wall carbon nanotube
production capability 100-fold at one-tenth the unit cost. Its scalable, low-cost
CoMoCAT® process ensures consistent high quality and the flexibility to
provide customized products. To stimulate demand for its carbon nanotube materials,
SWeNT is increasing emphasis on applications development, especially in the
areas of coatings and composites.
Chasm and SWeNT will utilize the center to demonstrate feasibility of achieving
customer specifications for carbon nanotube coating and printing applications.
They can do so using a variety of thin film coating and patterning technologies,
including rod coating, slot die coating, spray coating, ink jet printing, flexographic
printing, screen printing and imprint lithography. Coating trials can be done
at bench scale (sheets) or pilot scale (continuous lengths up to 12" wide),
accommodating a wide range of substrates.
The roll-to-roll equipment is easily configurable to achieve a variety of web
paths for operations such as drying, curing, rinsing, laminating, etc. Customized
coating formulations can be prepared on-site. The center also includes a wide
range of test equipment to characterize coated product structures.
According to Bob Praino, co-founder of Chasm, "SWeNT is an ideal partner
since they offer the highest quality single-wall and small diameter multi-wall
carbon nanotubes. Consistent material properties are essential to developing
robust processing methods. SWeNT has manufacturing methods that are easily scalable
to support the many large volume opportunities for these materials. In addition,
SWeNT's willingness and ability to customize carbon nanotubes for applications
can significantly reduce development cycle time."
Single-wall and small diameter multi-wall carbon nanotubes exhibit extraordinary
properties when incorporated into coating formulations, and show great promise
for many applications including lower cost displays, more rugged touch screens,
miniaturized sensor devices, energy efficient LED lighting and cost efficient
solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.
"Many commercial opportunities for SWeNT® nanotubes were being held
back because it was too difficult for our customers to integrate carbon nanotubes
into industrial coating and printing processes," says Dave Arthur, SWeNT
CEO and Chasm co-founder. "The technical team at Chasm has in-depth experience
developing coating and printing methods for various nano-particles, and a superb
laboratory for process development. SWeNT's customers will be encouraged to
visit the center to consult directly with the technical staff to make it much
easier for them to fabricate and test prototypes utilizing carbon nanotube coatings."