Nanocomp Technologies, Inc., a developer of energy saving performance materials and component products from carbon nanotubes (CNTs), today announced that it has been awarded a multi-million dollar Phase II contract by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) under the Department of Defense’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Through this AFRL-sponsored contract, Nanocomp will continue its work to advance CNT-based materials as replacement for metal-based electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding and electrostatic discharge (ESD) components on manned and unmanned aircraft. This research has been officially designated as a “critical SBIR program,” indicating its high level of importance to the government.
The Phase II award builds upon Nanocomp’s successful demonstration, under its SBIR Phase I contract predecessor, that large-format CNT sheets can meet the functional requirements of EMI shielding, as well as withstand the industrial stresses involved in pre-pregging, a process that prepares the material for direct insertion into aircraft manufacturing systems. Nanocomp’s Phase II program is structured to optimize its material’s functional properties for shielding requirements and scale up production volume, while decreasing the cost of finished CNT-based pre-pregged products.
“This is an incredible day for Nanocomp Technologies, as we continue to be recognized as a company that is delivering on the promise of carbon nanotube technology,” said Peter Antoinette, president and CEO of Nanocomp Technologies, Inc. “We’re turning the corner from ‘potential’ to ‘proven’ in several commercially important applications and are now directing our focus on scaling for insertion into various Air Force systems. In short, our vision for delivering products with a meaningful path to volume scale is moving closer to fulfillment with every passing day.”
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and Cytec Engineered Materials will participate with Nanocomp in this Phase II program.
The SBIR program is funded by 11 federal agencies from research and development budgets. It is designed to simultaneously stimulate technological innovation among private sector small businesses such as Nanocomp Technologies and to increase the commercialization of new technology through federal R&D.