September 12, 2008: PowerMetal Technologies Inc., an advanced nanotechnology supplier to the sporting and consumer goods industries, announced a long-term strategic alliance and an equity investment from DuPont Engineering Polymers. The extension of an existing business relationship established in 2007 represents a strategic initiative to apply PowerMetal’s alloys to engineering polymers in new consumer markets.
PowerMetal’s patented process creates nanocrystalline structured alloys with the performance benefits of steel with the weight typically associated with lighter-weight materials. Under the agreement, DuPont Engineering Polymers will provide proprietary resin formulation and application development; PowerMetal will manufacture the extremely lightweight components.
The company’s new MetaFuse technology, a nanometal/polymer hybrid, employs a proprietary process that applies ultra high-strength nanometal to components made from DuPont Engineering Polymers to create extremely lightweight components with the strength and stiffness of metal and the design flexibility and lightweight benefits of high performance thermoplastics. The lightweight components can be complex shapes with the stiffness of magnesium or aluminum and at higher strengths.
Nanoparticles are not created at any stage in this process.
The MetaFuse technology “truly allows freedom to design with fewer limitations,” said Clive Robertson, DuPont Engineering Polymers business development manager. “Metal offers strength and high stiffness, but is limited in its ability to enable integration and to cost-effectively create complex shapes. Conversely, thermoplastic offers tremendous freedom to create shapes and to integrate functions, but it has suffered from some limitation in combining strength and stiffness. With the “MetaFuse technology, designers can have the best of both worlds.”
Initial target implementations include hand-held device electronics and several sporting goods markets.