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Nanoengineered Materials Set to Increase Flexibility and Performance of Body Armor
NanoMech has received a $70,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the US Marine Corps (USMC) to develop lighter weight, more flexible body armor to address the needs of US military personnel. The company will apply a nanoengineered polymeric fabric to increase the strength, toughness and ballistic performance as compared to traditional ballistic fabrics.
There is an ever-increasing need for low cost, light weight and high-performance materials with superior ballistic performance for body armor applications. NanoMech has developed innovative methods for applying nano-scale materials and creating new armor system designs, called OmniArmorô to address this need. "With the ballistic fabrics that are currently available, many layers must be pressed together in order to provide soldiers with adequate protection against high-velocity rifle rounds and other threats. Unfortunately, this limits flexibility of the armor system, which reduces maneuverability and can impact the soldiers' effectiveness in carrying out their missions" says Ajay P. Malshe, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of NanoMech. "Our nanoengineered materials can help increase ballistic performance of the fabric, reducing the need for bulk and providing more flexibility of the armor."
In the SBIR Phase I project for the Marine Corps, NanoMech will take advantage of its expertise in using nano-scale ceramic materials to innovate high-strength ballistic composites based on materials such as Kevlar, creating new composite armor materials and designs.
"Stronger, lighter materials and associated products represent a tremendous market opportunity for NanoMech," says Calvin Goforth, President of Virtual Incubation Company, a technology enterprise development company that has been providing business development support to NanoMech. "We are working with an industry partner to explore applications in vehicle armor and other protective gear where light weight and flexibility are required."
This work could lead to a second phase award, so the total funding provided to NanoMech under this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program could exceed $800,000.
The vision of NanoMech is to be the world leader in nanomanufacturing innovation and product development with an emphasis on platform technologies that are scaleable for efficient mass production.
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