The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials
Commercialization Center recently announced funding of two new projects
involving Philadelphia-based Arkema, Inc. and Pittsburgh-based nanoGriptech,
The Center, in partnership with Lehigh University, has awarded Arkema $275,000
of Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) funding, and the company is providing
an equal amount in matching funds. Arkema will use the award to develop and
commercialize their Nanostrength® block copolymer technology, called BlocBuilder®,
for extremely efficient toughening of epoxies that are used in wind energy and
electronic materials applications. Advantages of this technology are that it
allows increased reliability of wind blades without sacrificing strength, and
it provides higher resistance to crack formation in materials used in electronics.
The company’s BlocBuilder® technology also will be valuable in a wide
variety of adhesives, coatings and composites.
The Center awarded nanoGriptech, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off, $200,000
in AFRL funding for the commercialization of a fibrous adhesive technology based
on the foot hairs of geckos. The materials mimic the nano- and micro-fibers
that provide geckos and a number of other animals with their ability to grip
strongly and repeatedly to smooth and rough surfaces, even in wet and dirty
outdoors conditions. This project will assist the company in the design, manufacturing,
material selection and testing of the adhesives for new commercial sportswear
applications, in collaboration with leading companies in the sporting goods
and materials industries.
In addition, the Air Force Research Laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base in Dayton, Ohio recently commended its partnership with the Center, and
in a public release it featured one of the Center’s successful projects
with Plextronics Inc. More details on this story can be found at the Center’s
Web site listed below.
Center director Dr. Alan Brown, commented that this success story is a significant
recognition of the Center’s work in assisting small, high technology companies
to commercialize their research for both commercial and defense needs.
The mission of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center is to
promote and support the commercialization of nanomaterials research for new
and enhanced products critical to the U.S. economy and manufacturing base. The
Center builds upon Pennsylvania’s excellence in advanced materials research,
development and manufacturing, and it acts as a new model for a public-private
partnership among government, universities, entrepreneurs, small and large companies
to accelerate the transition from nanomaterials invention and innovation to
new products and new companies. The Center’s university partners include
Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, The Pennsylvania State University
and the University of Pittsburgh.