Award Provides National Recognition for NW Arkansas Nanotechnology Company

Fayetteville, Arkansas – NanoMech, LLC has received a 2005 Award for Excellence in Technology from Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company known for its high-quality research on market trends, growth opportunities, and important new technologies. Frost & Sullivan’s Excellence in Technology Award is bestowed upon a company that has pioneered the development and introduction of an innovative technology into the market; a technology that has either impacted or has the potential to impact several market sectors. This award recognizes a company’s successful technology development that is expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. It also recognizes the company’s overall technical excellence and its commitment toward technology innovation. In selecting a company for this award, Frost & Sullivan research analysts compare all industry players, measure performance through in-depth interviews, and track extensive secondary proprietary data. The company that emerges with the highest ranking is chosen as the Award recipient.

The award provides national recognition for NanoMech and its nanostructured coating technology. In particular, Frost & Sullivan recognized NanoMech’s development of nanostructured cBN (cubic boron nitride) coatings for cutting tools. The coatings are based on a patented electrostatic spray coating process originally developed at the University of Arkansas with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). NanoMech has exclusive license to this technology, and has demonstrated the feasibility and performance of the cBN coatings for cutting tool inserts through research and development projects funded by the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. “Previously cBN coatings were limited in thickness and have suffered from the poor performance of physical, chemical (PVD and CVD) and hybrid techniques. NanoMech’s approach for producing cBN coatings has overcome the limitations of the previous techniques,” noted Frost & Sullivan’s research analyst R. Srimathy. NanoMech has demonstrated through extensive testing that their NanoTuffTM cBN-TiN composite coatings provide greatly improved performance compared to tools using conventional coatings. This innovation promises to enhance the machining productivity for manufacturers who are continually looking for ways to produce more at lower cost.

NanoMech’s patented NanoSprayTM coating process involves physical spray of pre-synthesized materials, such as nanoparticles, under the influence of an electric field. Nanoparticles are the smallest scale materials currently available to scientists for industrial and biomedical applications. They range in size from about 1/1,000th to 1/10,000th the width of a human hair. In the NanoSprayTM process, the electric field allows self-assembly of the nanoparticles on the surface, helping to form a uniform coating of desired thickness on simple or complex, three-dimensional geometries. “NanoMech has successfully developed a unique portfolio of technologies for synthesis of nanomaterials and products coated with nano- and micro-particles” says Ajay P. Malshe, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of NanoMech. Other important spin-off applications of the technology that the company is pursuing include lubricating, anti-corrosion, biocidal and biocompatible coatings, as well as thin films for use in microelectronics applications.

“NanoMech is another example of a technology-based enterprise from the university that has been successful in getting government and private investment to develop competitive products,” said Larry Walther, Director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development. “We appreciate that the company’s innovations have been recognized by Frost & Sullivan. This is an outstanding achievement, and prospects are brighter than ever that the company will make a market impact and in the process create high-paying, sustainable jobs and wealth in the state.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents the award to a company that has pioneered the development and introduction of an innovative technology. The award recognizes development of technology that has affected or has the potential to affect several market sectors and is expected to bring significant contributions to industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. It also recognizes the company’s overall technical excellence and commitment toward technology innovation. Previous honorees of the Frost & Sullivan awards for technology include companies such as Texas Instruments, IBM, W.R. Grace, Lucent Technologies, Sun Microsystems and GE Healthcare.

“NanoMech is putting Arkansas on the map for the progressive technological development going on in the state. Their groundbreaking work is a prime example of how investments in nanotechnology can result in real-world applications,” said U.S. Senator Mark Pryor.

“I’m very excited for NanoMech and what their research is bringing to Arkansas. This prestigious award compliments their long list of accomplishments and demonstrates how NanoMech has worked tirelessly to be at the forefront of nanotechnology and innovation,” added U.S. Congressman John Boozman of Arkansas.