Thursday, February 11, 2016

NanoSteel recognized for innovation, gets attention in automotive press

NanoSteel, a company with roots in the Idaho National Laboratory, has been on a roll lately. It has been named to the Cleantech Group’s Top 100 list for the third consecutive year. The list recognizes the top 100 private companies in clean technology and is collated by combining proprietary Cleantech Group research data with over 11,000 nominations and specific input from an expert panel. And in the past week, its Advanced High-Strength Steel has been written up in auto industry publications.

The company, which dates back to 2002, was started by Dan Branagan, who led the INL team that developed Super Hard Steel. Now NanoSteel’s chief technical officer, Branagan took processes and patents he developed at the INL and spun them out for licensing to industry. He was recognized the 2002 Forbes Special Anniversary Big Ideas Issue as “one of the important innovators of our time, one of 15 people who will reinvent the future,” and was selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology as one of the top 100 “brilliant young innovators” in the world whose work will have “a deep impact on how we live, work, and think in the century to come”.

NanoSteel’s corporate headquarters are in Providence, R.I., but its research and development and applications engineering take place in Idaho Falls. Its products are used in the auto industry, oil and gas, mining, power generation and cement and concrete.

In 2012, BizMojo Idaho reported the company had developed three classes of advanced high-strength steel that they hoped would will give automakers new ways to safely stretch steel in the design of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Nearly four years later, the progress has been remarkable, said Craig Parsons, who heads the company’s automotive division.

“The AHSS steels we’re developing are cost-efficient to manufacture with unique combinations of high strength and formability not normally associated with steel,” he said, in a Feb. 2 article posted on TodaysMotorVehicles.com (Steelmakers are rising to challenges from other automotive materials). “(Our) steels are designed to be manufactured into parts on existing stamping and assembly lines," he said. "Automakers can keep using their current production infrastructure and employees won’t need retraining.”

The company also got a writeup this week in Automotive World, The Shape of Steel to Come: Why Ductility Matters.