NaturalNano, Inc., a materials science company, today announced the signing of a Joint Development Agreement with Nylon Corporation of America, Inc. (NYCOA), a leader in the nylon polymerization and compounding industry. The partners will work to commercialize NaturalNano's nylon Pleximer products for the enhancement of the mechanical properties of nylon nanocomposites. Pleximer is a turn-key nanocomposite additive enabling stronger, lighter materials for the $40 billion dollar polymer composite industry.
The NYCOA and NaturalNano development program is expected to identify specific product applications in the third quarter of 2007. Peter Shepard, President and CEO of NYCOA, said, "We see tremendous market opportunities in a variety of performance driven applications for lightweight, tough nylon nanocomposites. Working closely with NaturalNano will accelerate the development of novel, high-value materials for these emerging markets."
"This agreement creates a natural synergy between our halloysite nanotube surface functionalization technology and NYCOA's expertise in the multiple facets of nylon manufacturing," stated Cathy Fleischer, PhD, President and CTO of NaturalNano. The combined capabilities of NYCOA and NaturalNano are expected to produce materials of improved characteristics and high value for the polymer composites industry. "Our partnership with NYCOA is a critical step in our path to Pleximer commercialization and introduction in 2007," Fleischer said.
Next steps under the agreement will address jointly developed accreditation testing, application definitions, and formula optimization that will be used in the pilot and manufacturing processes to produce Pleximer based nanocomposites.
The NYCOA collaboration establishes an important benchmark in the product's steady and successful development timeline. In January, the Company first demonstrated the production of nylon Pleximer on a manufacturing scale. This was followed in February by the announcement of superior dispersion of halloysite nanotubes in excess of 30% in nylon using standard polymer processing equipment. This high dispersion led to improved strength and modulus properties in the resulting nanocomposite without sacrificing the natural elongation of nylon. The highly concentrated nylon Pleximer product can be added to pure nylon in the final molding process by the manufacturer to obtain nanocomposite materials with improved properties for a wide range of applications, including automotive, aerospace, sporting equipment, and electronics.