Ikonics says its precision manufacturing technology aligns with NASA test results

Ikonics says its precision manufacturing technology is suited to implement a new technique researched by NASA that may help airplane manufacturers reduce operating costs and increase fuel efficiency.

Ikonics Advanced Material Solutions, a Duluth-based imaging technology company, claim that its precision abrasive machining capabilities align with NASA test results to reduce aerodynamic drag on acoustic jet engine liners.

Ikonics’ precision manufacturing technology is suited to implement a new technique researched by NASA that may help airplane manufacturers reduce operating costs and increase fuel efficiency.

In a new research paper published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA concluded that aerodynamic drag from certain engine liners is reduced if the liners are perforated with slots oriented perpendicular to the airflow, increasing fuel efficiency, reducing operating costs and lessening environmental impacts.

“Most honeycomb acoustic liner perforations are robotically drilled, resulting in circular perforations,” said Bill Ulland, Ikonics CEO. “Precision abrasive machining technology can perforate many different geometries, including the slots specified by NASA. Our technology is proprietary and we believe it is not in use elsewhere.”

Ulland said the NASA research is an exciting new development. “This is new information, and we are just now bringing it to the attention of the industry. We do not have an estimate of the acceptance rate of this technology and further testing and quantification of the benefits needs to be done.”

“Ikonics’ revenues have grown in the past four quarters at more than 110% over the comparable prior quarters,” he said. “We are hopeful that this new technology will further accelerate this growth.”

The company recently moved into a new 27,300-square-foot facility to accommodate anticipated growth.