What is Nanoforce?
Nanoforce Technology is a spin-out company from the Department of Materials, Queen Mary, University of London. It was set up as a part of the Micro and Nanotechnology (MNT) Network funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (now the Technology Strategy Board) and the London Development Agency. Its remit is to develop micro and nano technologies and to disseminate the results to industry and academia for the development of new products and processes. Nanoforce specialises in technology projects either supported directly by industry or a combination of industrial funding with state support. It has experience of working for high-profile single clients and supporting consortium-based European Framework and Technology Strategy Board projects.
What Nanoforce offers to its clients
Nanoforce Technology excels in high-quality research and development in materials science and technology. Its close relationship with academia allows the company to have access to a vast array of expertise in the field. The company focuses on micro and nano technologies, which permits the use of a bottom-up approach to engineering problems through the control of the physical and chemical properties of materials from the atomic scale. Supported by its high-quality researchers as well as state-of-the-art processing, analytical and physical testing equipment, Nanoforce is able to provide materials solutions for industry and academia. Our approach and equipment enable us to bridge the gap between laboratory and industrial production.
Nanoforce’s core competences
Nanoforce provides solutions to clients’ needs in technologies related to polymer processing, ceramics processing, coating and printing, electrospinning (including electrospun nanofibre webs), process modelling and materials characterisation.
Polymers and Composites
Nanoforce’s activities in the polymer and polymer composite area revolve around the concept “atoms to application”. The company has experience in diverse fields,
e.g. soaps and surfactants, biopolymers and composites, conductive polymers, ballistics protection, electronics etc. We possess a suite of processing equipment with the ability to work with grams through to tens of kilograms. The company has invested in a range of equipment which includes twin screw extrusion, injection moulding, film blowing, co-extrusion, weaving loom, filament winding, roll to roll coating and electrospinning plus many others.
Nanoforce has been involved in a large number of material development activities, including:
1) Polymer nanocomposites. This is a relatively new field. High impact field in composites, allowing unique properties to be achieved often at very low filler loading. These include electrical and thermal conductivity and gas barrier properties using nanofillers such as carbon nanotubes and nanoclays.
2) Highly oriented fibres/ tapes. Polyethylene is used in commodity application such as milk bottles and grocery bags, however when suitably stretched (oriented) the same polymer can be used as a ballistic fibre to stop bullets. Nanoforce has a wealth of experience in orienting many kinds of synthetic and biopolymers.
3) Functional packaging to pack goods from food to electronics offers a significant technical challenge. Shielding, gas penetration, gas scavenging and recyclability are a few requirements of packaging. Nanoforce has a pilot size 3 layer film blowing line, allowing the trialling of films with a functional gradient, e.g. one layer could be a water barrier while another could be an oxygen scavenger.
4) Electrospinning for the generation of a non-woven fibre mat from polymer solutions. The fibres have very small dimensions, typically into the nanometre range. This allows the exploitation of the unique surface properties of polymers. these fibre mats can be used for filtration of very fine particulates and can include other additives such as silver for antimicrobial action.
A twin screw extruder capable of compounding a wide range of thermoplastic materials with a through put of 0.5-15 Kg/hour. This facility is suitable for pilot plant activities and low volume speciality products. Scale-up capabilities can be accommodated.
Single and multilayer film can be extruded or blown.
Blown film applications with a maximum lay-flat width of 170mm can be manufactured using a 30mm diameter die. These technical multi-layer films are used extensively in the packaging industry where the use of oxygen scavenging layers/ UV absorbers and structural polymers may be combined in a multifunctional film.
Spinning and solid state drawing of fibres, tapes and sheets up to a width of 190mm having a mono- or co-extruded structure are manufactured at Nanoforce Technology. The drawing (stretching) operation is achieved either over hot rolls (up to a temperature of 150°C) or in a hot air oven with a variable air flow rate.
We operate a lab scale injection moulding machine for the production test specimens and plaques. The clamping force is 35 tons with a maximum shot weight of 65g
Nanoforce Technology: Partner for the Development of Advanced and High Performance Materials
World-leading advanced materials processing company with a focus on the development of processing routes that can be commercialised by industry