it's all about the e's - published with permission from Lexington United JOHN STENCEL AND HIS Lexington company have the technology to make hip replacements stronger, cutting blades sharper and aircraft engines safer.
And they do it by removing impurities as small as a speck of talcum powder.
With patented technology that can sift tiny impurities from powdered materials, Stencel's start-up firm, Tribo Flow Separations, can reach purity levels previously unachievable among metal powders. These purer raw materials can be made into stronger, smoother and more reliable specialty products. This translates into artificial joints that are less likely to crack or cause infection, high-speed cutting tools that stay sharp longer, and aircraft engine parts that are less prone to break unexpectedly.
"With the use of our technology, we expect that the uniform manufac- turing efficiencies within the U.S. metal powder industry can increase at a minimum of 30 percent from start to end product," said Stencel, Tribo Flow's president and founder.
Research on the technology started eight years ago with
a federal grant proposal to study the principles of charge and flow toward
fine particle purification at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied
Energy Research, where Stencel served as Associate Director. Stencel launched
With its roster of eight employees, Tribo Flow opened
its new 2500- square-foot office in Coldstream Research Park in December
of 2001. In conjunction with metal powder manufacturer Carpenter Powder
Products in Pennsylvania, Tribo Flow will concentrate for the next twelve
months on pre-commercialization research and development before al launching
into market testing.
Tribo Flow hopes to open doors that for other budding Kentucky room entrepreneurs by serving as an example of success in attracting start-up funding from state and federal agencies. In January of 2001, Tribo Flow benefited from seed grant funds of $4,000 from the Kentucky Experimental to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). It used this money fund the development of its successful ATP proposal. Stencel and Tribo Flow Operations Manager Melissa Ochsenbein continue to be active in promoting Kentucky's EPSCoR initiatives.
"Since the Advanced Technology Program started,
roughly $1.2 billion in research and development money has been distributed,"
Stencel said. "Tribo Flow's award was the first in Kentucky and represents
less than one-tenth of one percent of that money. We see a great deal
of room for improvement for Kentucky entrepreneurs to get involved in
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