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Small technology, big innovation

Thanks to the cooperation started with Nanocomp Technologies, Prysmian Group extends its R&D reach to nanotechnologies applications in the cable industry

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JULY 2017

Leveraging on the molecular structure of materials to achieve better performances. This goal inspired the cooperation agreement signed by Prysmian and the US based Nanocomp Technologies Inc., a world-leading company specialised in the production of carbon nanotube-based products and materials.

As recently announced, the two companies agreed to join forces in order to testing and improving the use of these technologies in power transmission, power distribution, telecom networks, control and instrumentation applications.

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Prysmian and Nanocomp join forces to testing and improving the use of nano-technologies in power transmission, power distribution, telecom networks, control and instrumentation applications

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There is still plenty of room at the bottom – even 60 years on.
Almost 60 years after Prize Nobel physicist Richard Feynman famous talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at California Institute of Technology (CalTech), which can be considered a starting point for Nanoscience, today nanotechnology represent a widespread and fast-growing research on several application fields, which is landing on the market.

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The application areas in which nanoscience are making their biggest impact include electronic, electro-optic and optical products. The transition from semiconductor (conventional and organic) technology to nanoscale devices has anticipated improved properties and resolution, e.g. fluorescence labelling, scanning probe microscopy and confocal microscopy. Data storage based on nanostructures provide smaller, faster, and low consumption systems.

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Nanotechnology is one of the multiple fields that Prysmian continuous R&D activity is exploring

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Prysmian has taken interest in nanotechnology since longtime, as it is one of the multiple fields that its continuous R&D activity is exploring. The Group is indeed committed not only to develop and improve its core business, but also on new technologies and materials, enabling ground-breaking achievements in rapidly expanding market segments. The company is studying the nanotech with the aim of obtaining new materials with extremely high performance: “We are working with graphene, carbon nanotubes, nanofillers, to mention just a few: all these materials, just as a special spice in a gourmet recipe, give a sort of special taste, and allow us to distinguish ourselves from our competitors” says Marcelo Andrade, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Prysmian.

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Carbon Nanotubes: high performing features in one-billionth of a meter length
 

Prysmian and Nanocomp have also agreed to evaluate, at a later stage of the project, whether to commence large-scale production of products and technologies developed as part of this research. The interest of the two companies is driven by the high potential offered by Nanocomp’s Miralon®carbon nanotubes. CNT are small hollow tubes comprised entirely of carbon with diameters of 0.7 to 50 nanometers and lengths generally in the 10s of microns. At the individual tube level, these unique structures combine several extremely interesting intrinsic characteristics in terms of mechanical resistance, low weight, chemical inertness, very high degree of flexibility, and electrical and heat conductivity.

Miralon® is a Nanocomp Techonolgy carbon nanotube-based advanced material that enables strong, light weight and environmentally resistant solutions, solving customers’ problems, even in the harshest conditions, providing strength, ductility, electrical conductivity and thermal transport across several material formats.

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