NBD Nanotechnologies, based in Brighton, Mass. and founded in 2012 by Boston College classmates Miguel Galvez and Deckard Sorensen, has recently unveiled its new injection-grade additive, RepelShell, which makes plastic surfaces highly repellent to water, dirt, mud, and ice.
One of the applications for the plastic additive is athletic footwear such as soccer cleats.
The technology behind this new additive is a polymer blend combining organic and inorganic elements that is a drop-in additive (in powder or pellet form) during the plastic manufacturing process. The polymer blend adds thermal and structural properties to the plastic that make it highly repellent without affecting the mechanical properties.
In addition, the company says that the additive has low loading levels, which makes it a cost-effective solution, and that the hybrid additive’s thermal stability allows for multiple heating and cooling cycle, which means it can be utilized in compounding and injection molding processes.
“Given the low surface energy of our molecule, the NBD plastic additive rises to the surface and results in an embedded solution that is distributed at the molecular level and highly miscible with the host resin, resulting in permanent performance without the fear of wearing or leaching off over time” said said Deckard Sorensen, President at NBD Nano.
The company listed immediate applications for this technology as athletic clothing and footwear and electronic materials. In addition, NBD Nano RepelShell could be used for industrial plastics, such as those involved in automotive, energy, and manufacturing applications.
“NBD Nano RepelShell™ is unlike any solution on the market because it delivers thermal stability and high surface performance through an injection-grade solution that gets added directly to the plastic,” said Sorensen.
“Imagine a professional soccer star playing on a super-muddy pitch – if the bottoms of the player’s cleats have RepelShell™ for Plastic, they will remain permanently and completely mud-free.”
The company, which describes itself as experts in surface wettability, is named after the Namib Desert beetle, which alternates hydrophobic and hydrophilic regimes on its back in order to surface in the unforgiving desert environment.
According a Boston Business Journal article on the company, “Earlier in February, NBD Nano released a coating for metal and glass surfaces that promises to eliminate the appearance of fingerprints. Other products include metallic technology that ‘harvests’ a water supply from surrounding fog.”