BNNTs to be trialled in composite armour

Advanced technology investor PPK Group’s portfolio company BNNT Technology Pty Ltd has signed its first defence sector collaboration agreement with survivability systems specialist TenCate Advanced Armor.

Entry into this agreement follows two years of continuous improvements by the BNNT team which has led to significant progress in automation and process efficiency, resulting in a material reduction in the underlying cost of producing boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT) to enable wider industry market adoption.

BNNTs have similar properties to carbon fibre nanotubes though are stronger, with BNNT Ltd commercialising numerous uses from lithium sulphur batteries to thermal packaging, 3D metal printing, ceramics and reinforced polymers.

Under the terms of the agreement, TenCate will purchase 250 grams of Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNT) for infusion and testing into an agreed set of TenCate’s products during 2023 to test and validate improvements in protection performance.

TenCate will also be able to distribute BNNT to other global defence customers and raw material suppliers.

PPK Chairman Robin Levison said the agreement was an important step towards the full commercialisation of BNNT in the defence industry vertical.

Levison said: “We look forward to working with TenCate to develop independent validation of the unique properties of BNNT as well as a range of commercial defence applications.

“Collaborating with global organisations like TenCate provides a clear path to product validation and large-scale commercialisation of BNNTs.”

TenCate Advanced Armor is a global provider of lightweight, mission-critical survivability and protection solutions. Its portfolio of bespoke, highly-engineered composite products covers personal protection, platform protection (vehicles and vessels), and military and civil aircraft protection.

According to PPK, BNNTs are considered the world’s strongest and most advanced fibre. They are extremely flexible, excellent thermal conductors, optically and infrared transparent, chemically stable, able to withstand extreme temperatures, have neutron shielding capability and are electrical insulators.

BNNT Technology produces high-purity BNNTs using patented technology developed at Deakin University of Geelong, Victoria, at the company’s state-of-the-art facility at Waurn Ponds in Victoria (pictured).

TenCate CEO Steen Tanderup said: “TenCate is very committed to collaborating with BNNT Technology to test the BNNT technology across our business.

We believe BNNT technology has the potential to give us a significant strategic advantage in protection performance, both for our own products and with our raw material suppliers as a distributor of BNNT”.

PPK also has direct interests in the armour sector through its interest in Craig International Ballistics.

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Picture: BNNT Ltd

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