For years, carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, were hailed as the next great advance in materials technology based on their “miraculous” properties of superior strength, highly-efficient electrical and thermal conductivity, and ultra-light weight. As promising as the technology has been, no commercial manufacturer or academic developer was able to capture their attractive nanoscale properties in a way that could be leveraged by existing industrial processes at meaningful scale. Nanocomp overcame that challenge by producing extremely long CNTs in macro-formats - materials praised by the United States Department of Defense as “critical for national defense”.
The company borrows from New Hampshire’s history and the era of the textile industry, producing a sheet material, or non-woven mat, and “spinning” its long carbon nanotubes into yarn or thread. They also create a dispersed product which allows the incorporation of Miralon® material into various polymer, resin and coatings systems. Nanocomp’s Miralon products are extremely light, strong, and conductive, operating with impunity in radiation, salt, moisture or corrosive conditions and will not fatigue fracture even at cryogenic temperatures.
Nanocomp started in 2004 with only 3 employees in a 500 square-foot space in an old mill building in Lebanon, NH. It was in this modest facility that the first government contract for unlimited length carbon nanotubes was awarded. There was substantial technical and customer development in the following year leading to the opening of an 11,000 square-foot facility in Concord, NH with more equipment and capacity. This facility housed the first automated carbon nanotube based sheet machines in the world as well as the early generation yarn machines. As material demand continued to rise, Nanocomp acquired both government and private investments, enabling the move to its current facility in 2012.
Today, in Merrimack, NH, Nanocomp produces a variety of Miralon products in its 60,000 square-foot facility.