Merrimack materials innovator Nanocomp acquired by Texas-based companyBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
March 27. 2018 11:30AM
MERRIMACK — Huntsman Corp. of Texas announced this week that it has acquired Merrimack based Nanocomp Technologies.
Although the financial details of the acquisition were not released, both companies say they are pleased with the new development.
Nanocomp Technologies was founded in 2004 and is known for its Miralon products made from pure carbon nanotube materials that have a variety of uses. Two years ago the company’s carbon nanotubes were on board NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, a solar-powered spacecraft that broke the record for traveling the farthest from the sun.
“In terms of workforce development and the future for employees here in the state, it is very positive,” John Gargasz, managing director of Nanocomp, said of the acquisition. He stressed that Huntsman is a global company that views the Boston region as one of the innovation centers of excellence around the world.
Nanocomp is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Huntsman, according to Gargasz, who said Huntsman is looking forward to Nanocomp maintaining its presence in New Hampshire and growing its research and development expertise in Merrimack.
While the Nanocomp name will remain for now, he expects it will probably be rolled into the Huntsman title eventually, with the Miralon brand continuing.
According to a release, the acquisition of Nanocomp technology will enable Huntsman to further develop its composite materials and formulations, which can be used for radiative heating, electrical conductivity, toughening and corrosion prevention.
“This acquisition shows our intention to grow by adding formulations and technology to our portfolio that will allow us to expand in existing markets and access new markets,” Scott Wright, president of Huntsman’s Advanced materials division, said in a statement. “We are confident that adding Nanocomp and its Miralon range to our extensive product offering will bring valuable effects to our customers in the aerospace, automotive and electrical-power industries.”
Gargasz acknowledged Monday that there is a long, intense process to taking its materials to commercial markets. However, having a multibillion dollar company like Huntsman committed to helping with their success and vision is critical, said Gargasz.
“With many industries looking to replace heavier materials with composites for lighter weight and more energy efficiency, our carbon-based advanced materials enable stronger, lighter, environmentally resistant solutions that can solve customers’ problems, even in the harshest conditions,” he added.
Nanocomp currently has about 75 employees and operates three production shifts daily in its 60,000 square-foot facility, with plans to add an additional 40,000 square-feet in the next couple of years. At full capacity, the Merrimack facility will have the capability to produce approximately 40 metric tons of Miralon products annually.
Last year, NASA successfully launched the SubTec-7 mission using a Black Brant IX rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia; Nanocomp produced carbon nanotube fibers to fabricate a carbon nanotube Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessel for the rocket.