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Friday, June 6, 2014

Nanocomp celebrates its expansion in Merrimack

MERRIMACK – Nanocomp Technologies will celebrate an expansion of their manufacturing facility, which should create an extra 70 jobs, at an event Friday morning.

The firm, which makes sheets, tape and yarn based on carbon nanotubes, will triple its manufacturing space. The expansion is made possible by an $18 million dollar contract from the Department of Defense, which is using the lightwide and extremely strong nanotube-based material in equipment and uniforms. ...

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MERRIMACK – Nanocomp Technologies will celebrate an expansion of their manufacturing facility, which should create an extra 70 jobs, at an event Friday morning.

The firm, which makes sheets, tape and yarn based on carbon nanotubes, will triple its manufacturing space. The expansion is made possible by an $18 million dollar contract from the Department of Defense, which is using the lightwide and extremely strong nanotube-based material in equipment and uniforms.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan will be part of the celebration.

Members of the Merrimack Fire and Police Departments will be present along with local tradesmen and about 100 distinguished guests.

As the only commercial producer of carbon nanotube-based sheets, tapes and yarn, Nanocomp is working closely with the Department of Defense to reduce the weight of body armor while maintaining the level of performance for soldiers and law enforcement. The company’s materials are being used to replace heavy copper and can also be a benefit in many applications across the aviation, defense, automotive, energy and consumer markets.

“This celebration is the culmination of successful public and private partnerships that have enabled Nanocomp to be awarded this significant funding through the Defense Production Act Title III program,” said Peter Antoinette, Nanocomp’s CEO and president. “Ten years ago we had two employees; today we have 76 employees, with plans to more than double that number over the next year.”

Nanocomp moved from Concord to Merrimack in 2012, occupying a former Nashua Corp. facility at 57 Daniel Webster Highway, just north of the Nashua line.

Nanocomp spins or weaves carbon nanotubes, which as the name implies are tubes made of carbon atoms. They are tiny, existing in the nanometer (billionth of a meter) scale, and have unusual electrical properties and can absorb microwave or radar signals, as well as their strength.

The difficulty lies in manipulating nanometer-scale objects, which requires processes more akin to chemistry than machining; Nanocomp says its facility is unique in this capacity.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).