Pedal to the Metal

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From the July 2012 issue of Columbus CEO
  • Courtesy Zyvex Technologies

Zyvex Technologies, headquartered in Columbus since 2007, specializes in nanotechnologies developed through molecular chemistry solutions. The process is complicated, but the outcome is simple: products made with materials that are stronger and lighter.

“Carbon nanotubes are the strongest material known to man. They’re 100 times stronger than steel and they’re one-sixth the weight. They’re extremely conductive electrically, better than copper,” says Lance Criscuolo, president of Zyvex Technologies.

The company works in arenas in which both weight and strength are important, such as aerospace defense and sporting goods. “If you can make a boat weigh half as much, it can go twice as far with the same engine. That’s just simple physics,” Criscuolo says.

A recent partnership with ENVE Composites yielded the first nano-enhanced carbon fiber downhill bike rim. ENVE tried making its own, but durability was poor and wheels fractured after every race.

“They’re really good at designing composite products. They found a way to incorporate our material and what it allowed them to do was, instead of running one race on a set of wheels, they can actually run an entire season on a set of wheels,” Criscuolo says.

Zyvex declined to disclose financial information, but Criscuolo says business is good. “Since we’ve been here in Ohio, we’ve grown every year. This year we should double in revenue from what we did last year,” he says.

Next up, “smart” materials: “If you think about the airframe on an aircraft, right now they have to go in and inspect it to see if there is any damage that’s been done to it. With smart materials, the material can actually tell you when it’s been damaged,” Criscuolo says. “It’s a few years out, but the proof of principle has been established that we should be able to do it.”

Reprinted from the July 2012 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.