By Nick Gilbert
Applied Nanotech has been awarded a contract worth $275,642 from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's Construction Engineering Research Laboratory for the development of glass fiber-reinforced composite (GFRP) panels to provide enhanced protection to facilities from blast and ballistic threats, degradation, seismic events and electromagnetic interference.
Applied Nanotech is also involved in the development of additional capabilities of surface self-decontamination to enable protection from bio-chemical attacks, and efficient self-healing properties of its carbon nanotube-reinforced panels. Moreover, the company’s technology is capable of reducing the weight of GFRP panels considerably and thus improving logistics. The new contract is Applied Nanotech’s third for this project.
Until recently, the development of composite panels has been limited by their logistical and related maintenance and repair requirements. Both high-rate and low-rate impacts trigger delaminations in traditional composites. This damage is usually rectified through the removal of large portions of composite or through the complete replacement of the composite part, which is time consuming, costly, and required highly-skilled workers.
On the other hand, when Applied Nanotech's proprietary self-healing material system is integrated into the ballistic GFRP panels, delamination or cracks can be fixed to a degree and after panels can withstand damage, thus preventing costly replacement or repair in several cases.
Besides ballistics protection, the company has synthesized carbon nanotube-enhanced polymers for carbon and glass fiber-reinforced composites for industries such as marine, aerospace, automotive, sporting goods and much more.
Applied Nanotech’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Zvi Yaniv stated that the company’s nanocomposite technology is gaining attraction and shows great market potential. The company is happy to create lighter, stronger and multifunctional protective materials for the US defense forces.