WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today congratulated SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) on the dedication of their new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Norman, Oklahoma. SWeNT is a spin-out of research performed at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Senator Inhofe played a crucial role in securing $2 million in research funding for this new technology's development at OU. Research continues to take place at OU to further develop these technologies and material through a partnership with SWeNT. SWeNT currently has 22 full-time employees in high-quality jobs in Oklahoma and there is potential for many more as this technology grows.
"Congratulations to SouthWest NanoTechnologies on the opening of their new global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Norman," Senator Inhofe said. "I was pleased to support this valuable research conducted at OU and delighted that this new technology will ultimately lead to more high-quality and well-paying jobs here in Oklahoma.
"Oklahoma's citizens and universities have long been leaders in innovation and the development of cutting-edge technologies. Research performed at the University of Oklahoma led to a ‘first of its kind' manufacturing process which now allows for single-wall carbon nanotubes to be produced cost-effectively and on a commercial scale. This material has the potential to be used in hundreds of applications, ranging from conductive plastics, to stronger and lighter body and vehicle armor for our troops, to stealth technologies and less invasive cancer treatments. Our state can now boast in being a leader in the nano industry and the vast potential that it holds in the 21st Century."
David Arthur, CEO of SWeNT, praised Senator Inhofe's leadership and support for this research and development, saying, "I would like to thank Senator Inhofe for his support of funding for this project. That funding helped provide the basis for this platform technology which has now been developed into a commercial reality. Without Senator Inhofe's support of this funding, we would certainly not be here today."
SWeNT manufactures single-wall carbon nanotubes, which are seamless hollow cylinders of carbon that are both lightweight and strong. The CoMoCAT manufacturing process developed by Dr. Daniel Resasco (also Founder and Chief Scientist of SWeNT) and researchers at OU allows single-wall nanotubes to be made cost-effectively in commercial quantities for the first time. The material's strength, high thermal and chemical stability, and flexibility make its potential use in applications nearly limitless. Single-wall nanotubes can be spun into materials more than 100 times stronger than steel and 17 times stronger than kevlar, making its potential uses for our military, especially in developing stronger and more effective body and vehicle armor, extremely vast and important.