Does nanotechnology make sense for use in your composite products? If you'd like to find out without the expense and risk of major investment dollars, the University of Dayton (Ohio) Research Institute (UDRI) may be able to help.

The research center has opened a manufacturing center in collaboration with the National Composites Center in Dayton for demonstrating nano-enhanced polymer composites.

"To introduce a new technology into their products, manufacturers have to either convert existing equipment or find space in their plants and buy new equipment," says Richard Garozzo, UDRI composites engineer and plant manager for the new facility, named the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites and Devices (CMPND). "Either way, it involves a lot of upfront expense for technology that may or may not ultimately fit their needs. Instead, we're giving them the opportunity to evaluate state-of-the-art materials without a lot of investment. Then, if they are satisfied with the results and decide these new nano-enhanced polymers make sense for their products, they can transition the technology to their companies."

A 10-foot autoclave is among the equipment available for manufacturers at the Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanocomposites and Devices.
In addition to materials testing, the CMPND offers prototype development and small production runs. The facility features a 440-ton injection molding machine and a laser profiler, in addition to other equipment.

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