Nanocomp Technologies wins development contract

Nanocomp will work with the U.S. Army to develop body armor based on the company's carbon nanotube technology.

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Nanocomp Technologies Inc. (Concord, N.H.) announced on Aug. 5 that it has been awarded a $1.5 million development contract from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center (Natick, Mass.) to develop proprietary carbon nanotube technology for the purpose of improving body armor. Protective body armor is one of the major contributors to the weight a soldier must carry in combat. The Army is seeking to reduce the weight of body armor while improving its ability to protect from ballistic threats including bullets and fragments from IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

"Today's soldiers carry heavy combat loads. For the past several years, we have been working with the Natick Soldier Center to develop our nanomaterials with the objective being to create a new generation of lightweight, ballistic protection systems," said Peter Antoinette, president and CEO of Nanocomp Technologies. "This contract award is largely due to the leadership of New Hampshire Senators John Sununu and Judd Gregg as well as Representative Paul Hodes, demonstrating a commitment to and the success of a bi-partisan approach to growing business and creating jobs in the state. It enables our company to continue to work with the Army on this important project."

Nanocomp Technologies' carbon nanotubes are already distinguished by their very long lengths -- up to 1 mm. As a result, Nanocomp Technologies' products are said to be significantly stronger, more conductive and safer to use in end applications when compared to short, powder-like nanotubes previously appearing in the market.

In early 2008, Nanocomp Technologies began producing large-area carbon nanotube sheets to demonstrate value for the Army as well as aerospace and electronics applications.