BASF is leading an $8 million financing for a Boston startup that says it has invented a plastic additive that is highly resistant to water.
NBD Nanotechnologies uses functionalized fluoro polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (“F-POSS”) molecules as additives to polymers for providing hydrophobic and oleophobic properties. Loadings are around 5 percent and NBD claims the additive does not change the properties of the host resin.
The additive is said to possess high thermal stability for compounding and injection molding.
NBD stands for “Namib Beetle Design” because the technology was inspired by the Namib Desert Beetle, an insect that is able to harvest fog in the African desert by alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic regimes on its back. The company was founded five years ago by two biology majors at Boston College.
Leading the plastic additive technology development at NBD is Cheng Diao, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, Materials Science and Engineering Program in 2015, focusing on development of biodegradable polymer and composites.
The first in NBD Nano’s line of RepelShell products was introduced last year. “NBD Nano RepelShell is unlike any solution on the market because it delivers thermal stability and high surface performance through an injection-grade solution that gets added directly to the plastic,” said Deckard Sorensen, president of NBD Nano. “Imagine a professional soccer star playing on a super-muddy pitch – if the bottoms of the player’s cleats have RepelShell for Plastic, they will remain permanently and completely mud-free. The NBD additive provides end-product properties that are simply not possible with existing coatings or plastics.”
BASF is joined in the financing round by new investor Henkel AG & Co., along with existing investors including Phoenix Venture Partners.
“NBD Nano’s products allow for a tremendous variety of applications in electronics, consumer goods, and automotive,” said Markus Solibieda, managing director at BASF Venture Capital. “In addition, the company’s technology platform provides them with a strong base for future innovations.”
NBD Nano has also developed InvisiPrint coatings that reduce fingerprint visibility on a variety of surfaces.