Oxford Performance Materials Inc. and NaturalNano Inc. are working together to create new specialty polymers for aerospace parts and other markets.
The firms are trying to find ways to combine Oxford's Oxpekk-brand polyketone polymers with NaturalNano's Pleximer-brand additive nanotechnology, officials said.
Under terms of the agreement, Rochester, N.Y.-based NaturalNano will use Oxpekk resins to make polyketone-halloysite compounds, which will be sold and marketed by Oxford of Enfield, Conn. The Oxford/NaturalNano products will be marketed under the Oxpekk-DRT name.
``This is really a way for us to create stronger, lighter and less-expensive properties for these polymers,'' said NaturalNano President and Chief Technology Officer Cathy Fleischer, in a recent phone interview.
``It's a good opportunity for both companies.''
Pleximer technology uses halloysite nanotubes instead of the carbon nanotubes used in most nano-based materials. The halloysite elements are less expensive than carbon and don't require exfoliation before being used in plastics processing.
Oxford President and Chief Executive Officer Scott DeFelice said that his compounding firm's work with NaturalNano ``has yielded some of the most significant products'' in its history.
``We had been looking for a way to expand the limits of what our [Oxpekk] materials can do,'' DeFelice said by telephone. ``Pleximer is solving some of those challenges.''
Oxpekk materials have been specified for use on the Boeing 787 aircraft. The new Oxpekk-DRT materials initially will be aimed at aerospace, electronic and medical markets, according to DeFelice.
Oxpekk-DRT can be injection molded or extruded, he added.
NaturalNano, launched in 2004, has received more than $3 million in private equity funding to develop Pleximer. The firm also has material development deals with compounder Nylon Corp. of America (Nycoa) in Manchester, N.H., and injection molder Cascade Engineering Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich.