A Norman-based technology company has secured $2.7 million in financing to add staff and expand its production capacity.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies Inc. produces carbon nanotube materials used in printed electronics, energy storage and composites applications.
“We need to add to our capacity to meet the demand for our specialty multi-wall products driven by our strategic partnerships and distribution agreements,” company President Dave Arthur said in a news release.
“This additional funding will also be used for (research and development) to develop additional carbon nanotube materials and inks that meet customer specifications.”
SouthWest NanoTechnologies will use its new funding to expand its Norman plant and fill about eight available positions for scientists, engineers and technical support personnel.
Arthur said the company’s Norman plant has only one shift of workers, but he hopes to increase that to three by the end of the year to churn out more nanotubes.
“We’re shipping as much of that material as we can make,” he said.
The company is getting $1.7 million as part of a $4 million round of convertible notes.
The other $1 million is from a venture debt transaction.
Arthur said the company also intends to invest in ramping up its catalyst operations, which provide the feedstock to make nanotubes.
SouthWest NanoTechnologies has licensed its catalyst to an Asian nanotube manufacturer to serve that market, he said.
Such deals could be expanded to include manufacturers around the world as the technology becomes more widespread.
Arthur said in the next five years or so carbon nanotubes could be used to enhance cement and asphalt, reducing infrastructure costs and making it easier to detect cracks.