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Okay, I'll admit in advance this will be the most self-serving column I ever write for Nanotech Now because I want to talk about Xanofi's new platform for making nanofibers. In future columns I'll talk about raising money, finding partners, IP issues and all the challenges of innovating in an infantile market. But for now let's talk about XanoShear™ - it's pretty drastically different than anything you've seen in nano.
For starters, it's the world's only nanofiber production platform that occurs exclusively in liquids. Starting with most any soluble polymer, fibers are formed in milliseconds when inserted into a stream of viscous liquid. The resulting nanofiber-filled slurry can either be processed on a conveyor belt to remove the liquids or collected directly into containers for direct integration into other wet laying processes. It's both an elegant and robust platform that has lots of potential applications.
May 16th, 2011
Introducing XanoShear-A New Nanofiber Platform
Of course if you talk nanofibers, the first thing people want is a comparison to electrospinning and/or meltblowing. XanoShear™ is not trying to replace either of these two useful methods - we're simply taking our place beside these technologies as a commercially viable platform. Our first evidence is the fiber output itself - consistent fibers that can be made from 200nm to 2 micron in width (depending on application) and diameter distributions that are similar to electrospinning. The next interesting aspect of XanoShear is its remarkable ability to scale efficiently……which doubles, triples or even going 10X or 20X on output is simply a matter of adjusting volumes and fluid dynamics. Our pilot machine, for example, is cranking out almost 10kg per hour of nanocellulose, polystyrene, nylon, or a host of other polymers or biopolymers - with only a single stream!
But what we're excited about isn't just an efficient way to make the same products - it's the possibility to create! We've got a great platform for integrating small particles (either surface or sub-surface) or for adding coatings. Antibacterial? No problem. Conductive? Yes. Biomimetic nanofibers containing collagen and calcium phosphate? Sure. The possibilities are almost endless.
Speaking of innovation, I'd like to announce the world's first line of high basis weight, nanofiber-only roll goods that are available across eight different polymers! Call XanoMat™, customers can select polymer, fiber width and basis weights ranging from 10 grams to over 100 grams per square meter.
We'd love to hear from you to get your thoughts on interesting applications and requests for custom advance materials. Busy and exciting days at Xanofi, to be sure. Give us a call and let's start working together.