Advanced-metals factory gears up in Maltby

MALTBY — A Seattle-based startup hopes a new production line here will help it transform the way everything from oil rigs to cars to airplanes are made.

Started in 2007, Modumetal makes non-corrosive nanolaminated materials — basically, metals that won’t rust and are much stronger than existing materials.

The company has made plenty of products which are used in the field by oil and gas companies and even the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Maltby is Modumetal’s “scale-up facility,” said Christina Lomansey, the company’s CEO and founder.

“The properties of the materials have already been validated. What we’re doing is scaling up the production” to industrial rates, she said.

Corrosion is expensive. A two-year study conducted by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration found that from 1999 to 2001 corrosion accounted for $276 billion in annual costs — about 2.8 percent of the U.S. GDP at the time. Adjusted for inflation, that would be nearly $375 billion in 2014.

Modumetal is expected to formally announced the opening of its 35,000-square-foot Maltby facility by this spring, and is already doing initial runs there. The line currently can produce pieces as big as 15 feet long, and the company plans to increase that to 45 feet later this year.

With adding the new production line and other changes, Lomansey said, she expects to double the size of the Modumetal over the next year.

She won’t say exactly how many employees the company has, but industry sources and news reports put it at about 25.

Lomansey was trained as a physicist at the University of Washington and worked for Boeing before starting Isotron Corp., a composite materials company, in 2001, which she still owns.

Modumetal’s headquarters in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood also houses research, development and prototype production. The company also leases a production line in Long Beach, Calif.

Building on academic research and technology acquired from a former GE subsidiary and the U.S. Department of Energy, Modumetal invented nanolaminated alloys that are practical and affordable for real-world use.

The company “figured out how you actually manufacture these very finely tuned products on an industrial scale” and at a price that makes sense for the market, Lomansey said.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

Stan Jones (left) father of Vice Chairwoman Teri Gobin, gets a handshake from Jared Parks while Herman Williams Sr. hugs Bonnie Juneau (right) after the Tulalip Tribes and Quil Ceda Creek Casino held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel on Tuesday at the Tulalip Reservation. The casino hotel will be built on 16 acres of ancestral tribal land and will feature a main casino that will showcase as many as 1,500 slot machines. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million project in Tulalip.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Trudeau snubs Boeing, unveils plan to buy used Aussie jets

Trudeau will be assessing the impact fighter jet contracts have on his country’s economy.

Boeing raises dividend 20%, continues stock buyback program

The manufacturer said it has repurchased $9.2 billion worth of its shares this year.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Most Read