Fulcrum SP Materials announced today that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Arkema Inc. concerning the development of high performance composite parts with improved damage resistance. Arkema will contribute its multiwall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) technology and Fulcrum will bring its propriety protein base interface and dispersion technology for CNTs. The objective of the project is to develop a technology allowing the grafting of CNTs on 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional woven fabrics such as Carbon fibers. Such reinforced fabrics will be used to produce advanced composite parts for applications in aeronautics or other industrial applications.
Fulcrum's technology was invented by Professor Oded Shoseyov and Professor Arie Altman both from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Environment at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was licensed to Fulcrum for further development, by Yissum, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University.
Advanced composites are advanced structural materials, such as carbon fibers and Kevlar, in a matrix such as epoxy resin. Stronger and lighter then conventional materials such as steel and aluminum, they are being used in aero-space, sports, ballistics and clean-tech applications. The aspiration for higher strength to weight ratio and lightweight, fuel-saving technologies, as well as the search for environment-friendly products, creates a tremendous demand for new technologies in the market of advanced composites. The global market size of for composite materials was $21.5 Billion and is expected to reach $53 Billion in 2014.
For the past three years, Arkema has been involved in major development programs designed to assist companies seeking innovation by using nano-structured materials. Arkema, as a world leader in nano-structured materials, and a producer of carbon nanotubes (CNT), has established a large number of partnerships in various sectors for applications requiring enhanced performance in terms of electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and mechanical strength.
"Fulcrum's innovative technology of bonding carbon nanotubes directly to the fabric such as carbon fiber, is unique and if successful, could set new standards in advanced composites markets," said Moshe Kelner, President of Arkema in Israel.
"We welcome the agreement with Arkema, this cooperation will enable Fulcrum to reach a wider base of applications and customers with our ground breaking technology," said Nimrod Litvak, Fulcrum's CEO.