Duluth-based MVA Scientific Consultants Inc. has announced it will be the first company in the United States to test a British-made nanotechnology instrument that evaluates the durability of films and coatings on automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The instrument, manufactured by Britain-based Micro Materials Ltd. and called the “Nano Test,” is a commercial device used to determine how quickly lubricants or coatings wear off of various materials at the micro level. The Nano Test is being used in Asia and Europe, but MVA Scientific Consultants’ testing will be some of the first done in the U.S. for commercial purposes.

“As the world starts to manufacture things smaller and smaller, it’s going to require tools that can measure the quality of those materials at the nano level. That’s where the Nano Test can have a big impact by testing their resilience and quality at that level,” said MVA spokesperson Tony Cooper.

“Georgia will be the first in the nation to test this nano-impacting instrument for commercial purposes,” Mr. Cooper told GlobalAtlanta. He added that the test will be useful for any industry where erosion or friction is a concern, including automotive, pharmaceuticals, electronics and other industries.

The president of the British manufacturer, Micro Materials, Paul Grasske, is to visit Atlanta on Nov. 16-17, to lead a seminar for science and industry leaders from around the country to learn more about the Nano Test and its applications.

Mr. Cooper explained that the field in which MVA Scientific Consultants specializes, “microscopy,” or the study of things smaller than can been seen by the naked eye, typically identifies problems after they occur and then deduces what happened.

MVA Scientific Consultants is considering the Nano Test as a possible addition to its package of surface analysis services. The Nano Test will allow companies to gauge the strength and potential wear of films applied to materials to minimize friction prior to their actual use, Mr. Cooper said.

Most of MVA’s activity involves quality control testing for companies that need to determine the cause of a problem in their products at the microscopic level, he said. Company representatives often serve as export witnesses in counterfeit or patent infringement cases when those cases hinge on microscopic evidence, he said.

MVA Scientific Consultants’ client base has been international for many of its 15 years in business, Mr. Cooper added. Its American clients include leading technology companies and federal agencies, and some of the company’s overseas clients include firms and organizations involved in environmentally related projects, including air pollution and soil contamination.

Mr. Cooper pointed out that MVA’s work is gaining more attention, adding that the increase in demand for nano-scale materials, tools and devices is predicted to reach $28.7 billion by 2008, according to the recent market research report “World Nanotechnology Market 2005”, published by Research and Consultancy Outsourcing Services.

Visit www.mvainc.com or contact Mr. Cooper at (770) 662-8509 or tcooper@mvainc.com for more information about the Nov. 17 seminar. Visit www.micromaterials.co.uk to learn about the Nano Test.