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Posted: December 7, 2006
Natural halloysite nanotubes validated in real-world manufacturing setting
(Nanowerk News) NaturalNano, Inc., a materials science company, today announced the successful result of the company's first manufacturing-scale-trial of its halloysite clay nanotube technology, which is being developed as an additive to improve the strength characteristics of plastics. The trial was run as a machine scale validation of the Company's previous benchtop work done at Cornell University.
The Company is creating a line of turn-key nanocomposite additives enabling stronger, lighter materials for the $40 billion dollar polymer composite industry.
The trial was conducted independently at the leading edge facilities of a large-scale plastics manufacturer. The results demonstrated excellent runability on conventional equipment, and corroborated the Company's previous lab tests showing the additive's ability to increase a plastic's strength, while improving ductility and flexibility.
"This trial is a benchmark toward commercializing our Pleximer product line, which is innovative in its use of our halloysite nanotube technology," stated Cathy Fleischer PhD, President and CTO of NaturalNano. "The successful results are a great start, well aligned with our strategy of entering into a joint development agreement with a strategic partner in the first quarter of 2007.
"We believe the market advantage of our additive is that it will allow composite manufacturers to produce affordable nanocomposite plastics for the first time," Dr. Fleischer continued. The nanocomposite market segment is estimated to more than double in size in the next four years. However, many manufacturers to date have been unable to produce nanocomposite plastics because of the necessary up-front investment in expensive, specialized equipment and the complex chemistries involved in the process.
"By contrast, our additive can be used with standard processes and equipment, and provides a stronger, lighter, and more uniform output. We believe this could greatly increase the number of manufacturers capable of participating in this fast growing industry," Dr. Fleischer stated. NaturalNano's technology can also be utilized with a broader range of polymers, enabling a wider array of applications.