Meet NIS’s Team: Dr. Hoon Kim, Director of Technology

“Polymer is long, and life is short!” This phrase is one of Dr. Kim’s favorites. For the last 25 years, he has been using it in his presentations about polymers and surface chemistry. These two subjects are the love of Dr. Kim’s professional life. Dr. Kim obtained his Ph.D. in Polymer Science from the University of Akron. Dr. Kim is well recognized in the lubricant, coatings, and polymer industries for his work and publications on Polymers and Metalworking. Dr. Kim came to Nanotech Industrial Solutions from CHEMETALL-BASF. His previous professional experience also includes roles as a senior polymer chemist at Thermo Fisher Scientific, senior scientist at Amyris, and research scientist at Lubrizol.

Originally from South Korea, Dr. Kim has been living in the US for over two decades. Father of two, he enjoys an active lifestyle, playing soccer, running, biking, and traveling. 


What has drawn you to work for NIS? 


Innovation in the Lubricant and Polymer industry is my passion. I was very interested in exploring and knowing more about Inorganic fullerene-like tungsten disulfide particles (IF-WS2). This unique technology is one of the fascinating fields of study and application in the modern lubricant industry.  I see great potential for the  IF-WS2 based materials for some niche applications within several industries, including aviation and space. IF-WS2 Formulated could be one of the most advanced industrial lubricants, metalworking fluids, and coatings.


What, in your opinion, sets NIS apart from other lubricant manufacturers? 


NIS IF-WS2 technology is authentic and uncompromising. The main features are the submicron size and nearly spherical shape of the layered structures. The nanospheres could serve as an excellent lubricant for rolling/healing/coatings of different metal surfaces. Worldwide, NIS is the only producer of IF-WS2 particles on a commercial scale with NIS’s unique manufacturing process. Besides, our nanotechnology is protected by dozens of patents. 


What do you work on now, and what are your future projects?


Currently, I am working on over 20 projects. On top of customer-related tests and trials, we are developing new products. We focus on applying IF-WS2 particles in both oil- and water-based lubricant systems. Lab management wise, last year R&D department completed chemical inventory projects and R&D/QC work system organization for ISO 9001 certificate. On the technical side, recently we introduced new technology to enhance the stability of our products. Utilizing an innovative centrifuge, we improved how we control, optimize and increase our products’ performance. 

Soon, we plan on moving to more fundamental research, like the IF-WS2 particle property variations during lubrication. Along these lines, we plan on exploring IF-WS2 structure failure modes and mechanisms. For this critical project, we will collaborate more closely with our colleagues in Israel, NanoMaterials (NML), who originally developed this unique technology. 


How does your work help the industrial world and environment? 


Our water-based oil-free IF-WS2 Formulated lubricant system will not harm the environment as much as most oil-based formulations currently offered by the conventional lubricant market. IF-WS2 nanoparticles are eco-friendly with better performance thanks to their unique multifunctionality. An industrial fluid free of mineral and synthetic oils is much safer to use, easier to dispose of, and, in general, a better choice because it is also cost-effective. Removing hazardous hydrocarbon volatiles in lubricant application areas is a top priority for some manufacturers. 

What do you like the most about NIS? 


Having worked for quite big companies in the past, today I enjoy our organization’s flexible and straightforward structure. This kind of structure method has distinct advantages of moving forward from ideation to decision-making and marketing processes. There are minimal management layers to go through with a work-related issue, enabling most customer-related questions and problems to be solved effectively and promptly. Everyone is just a phone or a Zoom call away. It doesn’t matter where my co-workers might be at the moment. We keep in touch and update each other regularly.