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A space-age product that costs $900,000 a kilogram to produce and is owned by Brisbane company PPK and Deakin University has been judged as the purest commercially available in the world.
The finding puts PPK at the front of the queue in the race to develop products that can be used in space technologies, defence, aviation, mining and medicine.
The boron nitrade nanotubes (BNNT) are 100 times stronger than steel but as light as carbon fibre and flexible. While the product has been around for decades, making it in commercial volumes is difficult and the research to get to this point has taken Deakin 20 years.
PPK has been adapting the BNNT for use in rechargeable batteries, bullet-resistant glass as well as in dental prosthetics.
The progress being made by PPK has won support for its shares. The company’s market capitalisation has increased by $100 million since August.
A co-inventor of the technology, Dr Luhua Li, said they had always been confident of the quality of the technology and its scalability but the results of the tests with seven other commercially available products was a “stunning independent validation”.
Deakin’s executive director of research Ben Spincer said BNNT could become a major business.
by: John McCarthy