After years of “stealth mode” research and development, the scientists of Mechnano are ready to share a world-changing discovery and their breakthrough technology with the world. The Mechnano team cracked the code to harnessing the power of carbon nanotube (CNT) technology – a challenge scientists worldwide have been unsuccessful at overcoming for 30 years. Now, the Mechnano team is using their patented discoveries to revolutionize the already revolutionary industry of additive manufacturing.
“These are extraordinary breakthroughs for additive manufacturing materials,” says Steven Lowder, Mechnano’s founder and CEO. “By focusing on the nanoscale, or the molecular level, we are able to make exponential improvements in AM materials at the macro-level. Mechnano’s Technology, MechT, unlocks the inherent properties of the CNTs, giving some materials three times the impact strength, 10 to 40 times the tear resistance and much more.”
CNTs were discovered in 1991. One hundred times stronger than steel, harder than a diamond, and a thousand times more conductive than copper, the possibilities seemed endless. “Many ideas started pouring in from across the scientific community,” Lowder remembers. “Some thought they’d soon be creating space elevators, making paper-thin antiballistic vests, and flying superlight airframes.” Until now, the practical applications of the discovery were limited. After over a decade of research and development, Mechnano created a way to process CNTs into a discrete form, disperse them throughout an AM material without re-clumping, and even functionalize them to bring many new valuable material properties into play.
“While many of the CNT applications are still Newtonian dreams,” says Lowder, “Mechnano has realized key material advancements—including variations of MechT that can be jetted; low energy absorption CNT variations that work in existing UV curable systems; variations with aspect ratios worthy of advancing binder technologies and much more.” When asked why these advances are important, he said, “These advances bring greatly increased mechanical properties; also allow us to add electrical properties to plastics without degrading the mechanical properties; improve and add thermal properties, embed optical properties, and even add properties like magnetism to plastics.”
The global additive manufacturing market is forecast to grow from $12.8B in 2020 to $51B by 2030, and the demand for functional materials is one of the key trends shaping the market. Mechnano’s technology will bring dramatic changes to industries such as aerospace, defense, medical, and automotive, which are increasingly using additive manufacturing to optimize their operations and products. Statistics suggest that the impact of additive manufacturing on the US economy alone is about $3.1 trillion. Mechnano’s goal is to enable the acceleration of AM technologies and the AM market.
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Founded by Scott Gillette and Steven Lowder, Mechnano is a US company based in Arizona that is pioneering a new way to use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in additive manufacturing materials. The company has developed a proprietary process that allows for the manufacturing of materials that were previously thought impossible. You can learn more at mechnano.com.