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The Suburbanite
  • Stark State partners with Tesla NanoCoatings

  • Stark State College partners with award-winning Tesla NanoCoatings

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  • Tesla NanoCoatings has leased 1,000 square feet of space at Stark State College’s Advanced Technology Center to allow more room for research and development of its corrosion control coating.
    It is applied like paint, but protects metal with a unique galvanizing process. Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale.
    Stark State’s support played a role in the company receiving a $100,000 startup award from the Innovation Fund, said Todd Hawkins, Tesla’s managing director and a former aerospace engineer.
    Stark State is a supporting member of the regional fund focused on supporting technology-based entrepreneurial endeavors and emerging businesses.
    Working with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Tesla has engineered a carbon nanocoating described as a revolutionary corrosion control coating. It is the toughest, most resilient and most effective organic protective coating developed for metals. Fullerene, a form of carbon, is stronger than diamonds. One of the major aspects of the coating, Hawkins said, is that if damaged, it will transfer electrons to the defective site and non-corrosion will occur.
    Along with refining a product already approved for use by the U.S. Army and destined for use in the aerospace, petrochemical, transportation, marine and industrial markets, Hawkins sees the Stark State operation as an initial production platform. He’ll be recruiting Stark State and other university engineering students as interns, he said.
    “We’re in a great place to be doing this,” Hawkins said in a news release. “Northeast Ohio is a coatings cluster and we’re excited that Stark State is open to nanotechnology like they were to fuel cell technology. We anticipate attracting other nanotechnology ventures here. We are on our way and look forward to a long and distinguished relationship with Stark State and our community.”
    The company hopes to have its operations at Stark State in full swing by mid-July, said Hawkins, a Massillon native who has worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry and is a consultant and an entrepreneur. He founded Tesla NanoCoatings in 2007. He emphasizes the importance of collaborations in bringing new ideas to fruition.
    Applications for the next funding cycle of the Innovation Fund are due Friday. For more information, go to www.innovationfundneohio.com.