The challenges of Nano Manufacturing

Nano Manufacturing is “the commercially scalable and economically sustainable mass production of nanoscale materials and devices.”

By constructing an item atom by atom or molecule by molecule, molecular manufacturing, also called molecular nanotechnology, can create new materials with improved performance over existing materials. For example, a plane strut must be very powerful, but also lightweight. A molecular fabricator could build the strut atom by atom out of carbon, making a lightweight material that’s stronger than a diamond. Nano manufacturing leads to the creation of products that are new and improved materials. Such nano materials may be stronger, lighter, more lasting, water-repellent, anti-reflective, self-cleaning, UV or infrared-immune, antifog, antimicrobial, electrically conductive, or scratch-resistant.

There are just two basic strategies to nanomanufacturing, either top down or bottom-up.

Top-down manufacturing reduces larger materials to the nanoscale, like whittling a block of wood. This approach requires larger amounts of materials and inevitably leads to wastage. Bottom-up manufacturing involves building material up from the molecular level to create larger objects for example using molecules laid down uniformly to product a film or coating.

Nano manufacturing could be seen as molecular assembly similar to traditional assembly lines but scaled to nano-scale. The notion of ‘self assembly’ becomes relevant in this circumstance with respect to ‘self-repeating’ nanomachines, i.e. machines that self-assemble themselves. The other way to do bottom up nanotechnology is molecular assembly. The bottom-up strategy to production creates products by building them up from atomic and molecular-scale components, which may be time-consuming. Scientists are researching the concept of creating certain molecular-scale parts together that will spontaneously “self-gather” from the bottom up into ordered structures.

The challenge in nanoparticle synthesis is that it requires a lot of skill and expertise on the part of the chemist to control the size and shape of molecules in the way they are formed to produce quality particles so there is a long way from nanoparticle production to nanomanufacturing of complex structures or nano-devices.

One industry where nanoscale production technologies are employed on a large scale is the semiconductor industry where apparatus structures have become as little as 20-30 nanometers. Nanoscale electronics will lead to computers that are faster, more powerful, and more energy efficient and to the potential to exponentially increase information storage capacity. This because a limiting factor in speed of microprocessors is the time to transmit instructions which can be significantly increased by reducing the distance of transmission. Thus much of the improved processing speed improvement in successive generations of chips come from size reducing.

Nanoscientists are still dealing with the very fundamental problems such as having the capability to command the synthesis of nanoparticles. With our practical abilities today, the most advanced bottom up nanotechnologies are a combination of chemical synthesis and self-assembly. But they already allow us to perform atomically precise manufacturing on a small scale and this will definitely bring about significantly improved compounds, a lot more efficient production processes and totally new medical procedures.

NanoMech To Develop Next- Generation Combat Uniforms

NanoMech announced it has won a contract to develop and evaluate the next generation U.S. Army protective equipment. If the patented nGuard nanotechnology coating can be successfully implemented then the new technology could be used for next generation Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

This multifunctional nanoengineered substance will deliver significant improvements to ACU textiles including quite advanced vector protection to guard (or safeguard) soldiers against vector-borne diseases like malaria, zika, etc. and anti-attractant against other infected arthropod species insects while keeping low toxicity and increased safety for the soldier. Through innovative substance science progress, the new generation battle uniforms will resist a broad range of flash flame and thermal threats while lightning the auxiliary load carried by the soldier, improving wearable comfort, and increasing cloth durability and breathability abilities. In addition to passive fire protection, nGuard® has exceptional antimicrobial activity to enhance resistance of soldiers against infectious bacteria /microbes and inhibiting human odor -causing bacteria to resist distraction, odour, and natural attractant for mosquitoes.

NGuard® is a cost effective protective additive and finish for a broad variety of textile fabricscotton, nylon, polyester, and combinations that are artificial. In particular, nGuard® is highly adaptive for materials and various modern cloths. NanoMech has created an original nano-engineered composite operational delivery system that combines proven metal-mineral complexes that are environment-friendly. This composite delivery vehicle supplies high effectiveness for antimicrobial, vector protection, and fire-resistant functionalities. Various use special chemistries of nGuard® platform are engineered using exceptional convergent construction procedures. NGuard® is a tested and durable product that can endure many wash cycles to continue offering high-performance.

NanoMech Wins Highly Competitive Department of Energy Grant

NanoMech Inc. has been chosen for an award from the Department of Energy to develop a nano-manufactured drop-in lubricant technology to drastically reduce friction in engine components, in order to help save billions of dollars annually in fuel and maintenance costs.

Friction is one of the important reasons for failure of systems and essential engineering parts used in aerospace, military, and industrial applications. The annual price of friction and wear – material losses and associated energy is estimated to be over $700 billion — 5% to 7% of the United States’ $ 14 trillion gross national product.

NanoMech has devised a proprietary bio-inspired nano-engineered solution using a design procedure with ground-breaking chemistry to produce innovative lubrication under almost all operating conditions including extreme situations.

The nGlide® additive technology invention, in field tests for another use sector, has shown unprecedented developments in performance of grease lubricants by just as much as 1000% that can also safely prolong the life of the Earth’s hydrocarbon supply chain while making machines operate considerably better and longer.

Mr. Neil Canter, the Editor of Tribology and Lubrication Technology Magazine, said of NanoMech’s advanced nGlide® technology, “their mixture of solid lubricant nano-particles with environmentally friendly organic additives supplies an unique set of properties that are not matched by any additive commercially available today.”

“We are honored to receive this acknowledgement and move forward our breakthrough technology, with unprecedented capability, that may raise machine and vehicle operation by enhancing durability and the life of components, while solving the world-wide demand to save fossil fuels.”


Nanomech and Cameron Announce Breakthrough in Lubrication Science

Springdale nano-engineering firm NanoMech declared a partnership to provide its TriboTuff lubricant to flow and valve gear maker Cameron.

Cameron, headquartered in Houston with a significant operation in Little Rock, supplies improved mechanical valves which are an integral element to the hydrocarbon supply chain for gasoline and petroleum. The deal to use the latest nano merchandise of NanoMech will result in 10 to 20 new high-paying occupations with more to come, at the Springdale facility of NanoMech, company officials said.

TriboTuff is an effect of the patented nGlide technology platform, developed by NanoMech creator and University of Arkansas researcher Ahay Malshe of NanoMech. It’s designed to enhance the operation of friction bearing vehicles and machines while reducing the quantity of fossil fuel used.

NanoMech chairman and CEO Jim Phillips said in a news release the partnership with Cameron has helped “quickly forwards our nGlide initiation into the biggest industry on the planet.”

Is nanotechnology safe?

Industrial processes that use the skill to work with materials at the molecular and supramolecular levels have been developed by nanotechnologists. They will have exceptional physical and chemical properties, and are promising to drive another industrial revolution, with an apparently limitless variety of uses, from biomedical imaging, drug delivery and therapeutics, to stuff manufacturing, optics, electronics, energy generation and quantum calculation. Nevertheless, the exceptional physicochemical properties of substances also mean they may have unique bioavailabilities and other features which make them potentially hazardous to people.

While the industrial uses of nanoparticles are growing daily, less attention was paid to potential external effects and work-related health and safety (OHS) concerns in workplaces producing and using these particles, or to factors of potential health effects locally at large. There’s an urgent must handle these problems — already many consumer products include substances (eg, makeup, sunscreens, paints and fabrics), and a lot more are in development.

There are significant challenges in discovering the potential human health effects of nanoparticles. Discovering the distribution of nanoparticles within the body presents a challenge for toxicologists, as their size makes visual detection hard, and their chemical makeup may be similar to ubiquitous substances in the body (eg, elemental carbon), that might negate using conventional chemical detection systems.

These properties present many challenges to regulatory agencies in undertaking risk assessment and risk management of nanoparticles and to the medical community. There happen to be several seminal reports commissioned by authorities to summarize the essential environmental and OHS problems that must be addressed in the near future. They urged that differences in the data should be filled in immediately, where vulnerabilities happen to be happening to enable risk assessments to be conducted, starting with work-related scenarios. Nevertheless, some 2 years after, several knowledge gaps remain. Nanotechnology specialists in the US now are actually claiming that, to protect the significant investment in nanotechnologies, 10% of the NNI funding (ie, US$100 million) should be spent on safety and health problems.

Presently, community hazard related to engineered stuff is presumed to be comparatively low, because environmental release and broadscale industrial production have yet to occur. However, as production of nanomaterials expands, the potential for human exposure and adverse health effects can be likely to improve. It’s therefore imperative that appropriate regulatory regimens be set in place as soon as possible to provide acceptable protection for workers and the community. Certainly one of the risks associated with introducing new technologies, while health and safety knowledge differences remain, is a lack of faith in government regulatory systems and the possible triggering of a community backlash. Such opposition to technological innovation has been clear in other sectors (eg, with genetically modified organisms) and could end up being economically devastating for fledgling nanotechnology businesses.

As with any new technology, the security of nanotechnology is always being examined. There’s been some as yet unresolved discussion lately about the possible toxicity of a particular kind of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) — which continues to be related to tissue damage in animal studies. On the other hand, most available data suggest that there’s nothing distinctively noxious about nanoparticles as a category of substances.

The truth is engineered nanoparticles are much less hazardous insecticides used on family pets, than home cleaning products, and over the counter dandruff treatments. Surely, the nanoparticles used as drug carriers for chemotherapeutics are not as hazardous in relation to the drugs they take and are made to take drugs to tumors without damaging organs and tissue that was healthy.

Whether real or perceived, the possible health hazards related to use and the production of fabrics must be carefully examined in order to realize the important advantages that nanotechnology offers society, for example cancer research, diagnostics, and treatment and to improve our comprehension of the area of science.

Jim Phillips testifies at the Hearing for American Manufacturing

Excerpt from Jim Phillips Presentation to the US Hearing for American Manufacturing

While these states that were competitive lost out. Given the monopolistic attempts of China alone to control all the world’s dwindling resources, the U.S. is now at a great danger in not having stuff and rare earth metals that are core to our most important manufactured goods that are essential to our daily lives. Nanoscale engineering is our greatest expectation in providing a means to do more with less in sustainable and astounding methods to keep America secure and the world leader in technology, commerce and defense.

Paradoxically, despite a continuing downturn and unemployment hovering around 8.6 percent, U.S. makers confront a major deficit. A recent study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 5 percent of production jobs remain unfilled just because individuals with the appropriate abilities are unavailable. That translates to 600,000 accessible U.S. occupations.

Not only are services and production interdependent, they can be distributed worldwide. Many goods aren’t any longer designed, made and sold within one state, now. The actions needed to bring an item from concept to consumption are typically performed in different states.

Many producers consider that international competition has made them more productive, more powerful and competitive. Increases in production and productivity, nevertheless, aren’t translating into economic increases that are more wide-ranging.

Also, many U.S. states and localities do too little to bring manufacturing facilities, enforcing complex and time consuming processes on top of national rules to website and construct production facilities. The letting procedure for a manufacturing facility in America might take months, or even years, whereas in some states, the time needed is only less or several weeks.

Many Americans take into consideration making when it comes to merchandise manufacture—humming factories for the transformation of substances into products that are new, essentially bending metal” in operations which are readily sent elsewhere. Nevertheless, now that is making is part of a considerably more sophisticated, high value added and closely integrated world-wide internet.

Consider, by way of example, merchandise platforms are ’sed by NanoMech. We’re developing cutting edge technology that can save billions of dollars across several sectors while drastically raising functionality, and thus, enable more efficient industrial processes. Included in these are:

Lubricant Additives: We’ve developed state-of-the-art nano-lubricant additives that drastically reduce friction in machines to the stage of near zero, and hence deliver energy savings that were outstanding. This work supports multiple industrial sectors including wind turbines, complex machining, gasoline and petroleum transport, heavy machines, transportation, and others.
It improves productivity although it’s not an option for machining hardened steels. By means of this initiation, the firm in addition has developed tactical understand how in ultra quick coating of nanoparticles for various applications like machining, wear resistant surfaces, and anti-corrosion.

Manufacturing for Security and Sustainable Products: NanoMech has developed additives for polymers, material, and wood-polymer complexes for providing security and sustainability. For instance, NanoMech is supplying an antimicrobial coating for use in the food industries along with for armour vests for defense systems.

Metal Nanopowders: Alloys are a strategic commodity for America. Nanoparticles of metals enable us to provide “more worth for less use.” We’ve got the skill to generate big amounts of metal nanopowders including rare earths for example lithium, silver, nickel, and copper -indium alloy, aluminum, selenium and others. These substances are strategic and vital for multiple U.S. sectors including energy, aerospace propulsion, electronic equipment, and agriculture.

A comprehensive collection of government polices both national and foreign have significant impacts on the creation and initiation process, from research funding to market accessibility to taxes. At Present, U.S. policies aren’t aligned with the total life cycle view of invention that contains creation at scale.

Business models and the policies, plans, strategies that worked in the past are not adequate to ensure America’s future in the nano and digital age. Business, authorities, labour and academic leaders must rethink and retool the country’s company surroundings address several shortcomings and to capture appearing chances. The leveling effects of globalization are reducing the lost price advantages offered in markets that are emerging and possibly opening the door to increased making in America.

Read Full Testimony

Tufftek Coatings to the Rescue

The use of increasingly hard substances in new products in multiple industries is driving a powerful dependence on the development of higher performance cutting tools that can economically machine these. Among the toughest metals on the planet and used for everything from drill bits to touch screens is Tungsten. Much of the increased demand is coming from China, which only happens to hold the world’s largest reservations. Mineral resources are being hoarded by the state as it makes more of its precision tools using the metal and reducing exports.

Cutting Tool Coatings

As the hardest known substance, diamond has many exceptional physical properties which make it a perfect material for cutting tool coating applications. Diamonds have exceptionally high thermal conductivity which removes damaging heat in the cutting edge and are incredibly abrasion resistant. The second hardest material, cubic boron nitride (CBN), is seen as the best coating alternative. CBN provides excellent thermal stability, high abrasive wear resistance, and also can be used for cutting ferrous alloys. Yet in days gone by it’s always demonstrated a challenge to master CBN coatings. An Arkansas company, NanoMech, has managed to use nanotechnology to create a patented CBN coating called Tufftek that will be synthesized using a proprietary procedure and is anticipated to displace traditional vapor deposition procedures. The coating application has a tough stage and a soft period, both of which join to form a nodular feel which mimics that of a lotus leaf.

About Tufftek

TuffTek is a nanocomposite coating that’s applied to carbide inserts and tools enabling these tools to cut more efficiently and last longer than superior cutting tools on the market today. TuffTek coated tools can enhance tool life more or 300% compared to conventional coatings. The blend of exceptional wear resistance and great toughness makes TuffTek coated tools a better tool than any other currently on the market. TuffTek coated cutting tools can reach wear life beyond conventionally coated tools and may even approach the wear life offered by polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PCBN) streamlined tools.

Benefits of TuffTek

Since CBN has proven to be extremely hard to reliably deposit using conventional techniques like physical vapor deposition and chemical vapor deposition. NanoMech’s patented and patent-pending coating procedures distinctively solve the difficulties connected with creating CBN based coatings. Over 100 million gallons of cutting fluid are used annually in the US alone, all of which must be disposed of as waste. This amount can be possibly reduced by Tufftek. The application of Tufftek coating will not need sharpening which not only reduces costs but also removes disposal and the use of chemical substances.

About NanoMech

Arkansas based NanoMech was founded in 2002 by the business’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Ajay Malshe based on a coating technology initiated by Dr. Malshe and exclusively licensed from the University of Arkansas. In 2008, Mr. James M. Phillips joined as Chairman, and gathered a Board of Directors including Christopher Galvin, former Chairman and CEO of Motorola. An investment round followed soon afterwards to finance the multiple award winning TuffTek® NanoSpray coatings which deposit ultra-tough particles onto surfaces of cutting tools and are promised to function as world’s most outstanding coatings for such uses. NanoMech has a 9000 sq. ft. production facility and an 8000 sq. ft. R&D facility, both found in Arkansas.

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NanoMech Acquires Canadian Nano Technologies

Canano provides custom engineered nanopowders designed to solve unique problems, adding value to products that cross multiple industries including electronic equipment, farming, solar energy, and aerospace. The company was set up to develop and commercialize applications of pure steel nanopowders. Using a proprietary fuel condensation procedure partly based on research performed at Lanl, NanoMech will produce a wide range of high quality nanoparticles. NanoMech procedure is unique and offers considerable improvements over nanoparticle production/collection processes.

NanoMech is a leading designer and producer of nanoparticle-based coating deposit systems and protective coatings.

Jim Phillips, Chairman and Chief Executive of NanoMech, stated, “We Are excited relating to this acquisition as it brings novel nanomaterial production capacity and new knowledge occupations into our engineering portfolio, creating important synergies that can help our current products and people under development. It also accelerates our entry into new markets depending on nano-scale alternatives such as farming electronic equipment, along with the aerospace business. Thus, we’re constructing two nano-reactors in our manufacturing plant in Springdale instantly which will provide advanced nanopowders to clients across the world.”

Richard Tacker, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Canano stated, “Our customers have seen the value our custom-designed nanopowders provide to their commodities, and as a result the need for our stuff is growing fast. By joining NanoMech we can make the most of their excellent management team, produce expertise, and scale up their production ability to serve existing and future clients.”

Dr. Ajay P. Malshe, NanoMech’s Founder, Executive VP and CTO, included, “By combining unique nanomaterial synthesis capabilities with our ability to make nano-engineered additives, coatings and composites, we will enhance our current product offerings and direct to new product breakthroughs.”

The nanopowder technology programs can include progress methods of enhancing: nutrient replacement fertilizers and environmentally safe pesticides and conductive inks for printed circuit boards, RFID’s, photovoltaic printed solar panels, solar connectors, area coatings, new era ballistics, RF shielding, self-cleaning surfaces, solar heaters, condensers , silicon wafers, solid rocket fuels, and primers.

Duralor® Releases Cubic Boron Nitride Coatings

Following seven years of intensive research and development, Duralor® has perfected cubic boron nitride (CBN) composite coatings for metal cutting tools and is now marketing those coatings as TuffTek® to tool makers. This technology can significantly help the global effort to increase production efficiency while preserving energy, increasing output and reducing costs. The first commercial contract for sales of TuffTek is with a major automobile manufacturer.

CBN has long been available as something material, albeit at high cost, but the successful application of it as a coating had not been realized despite several previous multi-million dollar development attempts by tool companies. Users can now get the operation and longevity advantages of CBN at significantly lower price.

This is a significant breakthrough in the machine tool sector. For the very first time, all manufacturers have an affordable and processor control choice for cutting hard stuff,” said Jim Adams, P.E., a cutting tool applications expert and president of A-Tech Services, Inc. in Rochester Hills, Mich.

Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is the second toughest substance after synthetic diamond and is synthesised from hexagonal boron nitride under conditions similar to those used to make synthetic diamond from graphite. The desirable characteristics of an abrasive include abrasion resistance, strength, high hardness, and thermal and chemical resistance, and an ability to maintain cutting edges that are sharp . These features transcend the values of traditional abrasive blasting materials, for example aluminum oxide and silicon carbide. Particularly, the properties of high thermal stability and chemical resistance make it appropriate for machining ferrous materials, an area where synthetic diamond abrasives aren’t normally employed.

In side by side comparison for the machining of hardened steel, TuffTek-coated tools outperformed traditional coatings by 300 percent or more. For instance, in turning A2 steel (58 HRC) shafts, TuffTek tools yielded nine finished shafts per tool while traditional titanium aluminium nitride coated tools typically afforded three. Additionally, TuffTek provided a 50 percent decrease in time needed to machine each rotating shaft thereby reducing job costs.


Coatings Holy Grail

Nanokote offers a range of permanent surface coatings for builders and architects offering environmentally friendly protection.

Concrete, more than any human-made material, has altered the way we build. Its tremendous strength and the independence to construct almost any contour creates endless structural possibilities from office facades and highway obstacles to industrial infrastructure and more.

Mineral compounds are the keystone of modern construction. Stone varieties including sandstone, granite, concrete, pavers, roof render, tiles and masonry surfaces are susceptible to moisture damage, leading to the corrosion of steel reinforcement, development that is alga and moss on exterior surfaces.

For sale in water or solvent base, Nanokote’s SOL variety of products are transparent and a single part, permeating nanotechnology impregnation coatings. The product uses molecular bonding to form a hydrophobic surface while still enabling the surface. Thehydrophobic surface texture is not going to be altered or make surfaces slippery which makes for an easy to preserve, self-cleaning process on treated porous mineral surfaces.

The surface coatings will also be capable to prolong the life and reduce care for substrates including:

  • Infrastructure concrete (roads, rail, ports, etc)
  • Glass such as balustrades, glass pool fences and shower screens
  • Ceramic sanitary ware and tiles
  • Textiles like that used in air filter media
  • Easy To clean, anti corrosion, anti-graffiti coating for a range of surfaces.

Nanotechnology Surface Coatings Applications

Uses for Nanokote’s surface coatings are many and varied including:

  • Anti Scratch and Anti finger print coatings for stainless steel
  • Anti Bacterial and Easy To Clean protection for cloths
  • Long-Term Easy for ceramics and glass
  • Anti Finger Print coatings for frosted glass including a wide selection of cosmetic colours

Nanokote can implement products on site or has program systems designed to apply online at point of manufacture. Nanokote brings the knowledge and experience from worldwide OEM references and case studies.

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Frost & Sullivan Selects NanoMech for Technology Award

NanoMech, LLC has received a 2005 Award for Excellence in Technology from Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company known because of its high quality research on marketplace trends, increase opportunities, and significant new technologies.

The award provides national recognition for its organized coating technology and NanoMech. Specifically, Frost & Sullivan recognized NanoMech’s development of organized cBN (cubic boron nitride) coatings for cutting tools. The coatings are derived from a patented electrostatic spray coating procedure initially developed at the University of Arkansas with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

National Science Foundation Awards Grant to NanoMech

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to NanoMech, LLC to fund development of nanoparticle-based capacitors. NanoMech’s exceptional process used to form the capacitors creates devices with features that are considerably improved. These improvements are vital to the electronic equipment production sector which increasingly seeks miniaturization by incorporating passive apparatus into printed circuit boards.

Nanoparticles are the smallest scale materials currently available to scientists for biomedical and industrial applications. They range in size from about 1/1,000th to 1/10,000th the width of a human hair.

“Our novel approach to depositing nano-sized ferroelectric particles in an ordered, multi-layer assembly should provide substantially better performance in comparison with the random particle arrangement that’s formerly been achieved. As new generations of consumer electronics need constantly increasing component densities through use of embedded capacitors, this invention could end up being a big boost to U.S electronic equipment makers,” says Ajay P. Malshe, Chief Technology Officer of NanoMech.