Tiny materials, big industry: SA’s new nanotechnology facility

The outputs of this multi-million rand project are too small to be seen with the naked eye. But nanomaterials – made through the application of nanotechnology – offer South Africa a high-technology niche to bolster our ailing manufacturing sector.

Nanotechnology involves manipulating materials on an atomic level, with structures between one and 100 nanometres. For some context, a nanometre (nm) is one billionth of a metre, and the diameter of a strand of hair is 80,000 to 100,000nm.

Last week, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with the department of science and technology, launched the Nanomaterials Industrial Development Facility, which aims to develop new nanomaterials in areas such as plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals; prototype; test products; and develop the markets for these nanoproducts in the country.

For more, find the article — originally published in Mail & Guardian — here.


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