Startup company in Elkhart scores big contract with foreign company


A startup company in Elkhart has landed a big contract with a foreign company.

Bond Technologies uses a state-of-the-art welding technology that will help store nuclear fuel in Finland. The local company was the only one in the US asked to bid on the contract.

It was a year in the making, but Bond Technologies in Elkhart landed the contract.

They designed a state-of-the-art welding machine for a Finnish company that the company will use to help with the disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

"Yes, it is a big win for us to be able to convince a company like that, that we are able to do the job not only to engineer it, but then to build it," said Tim Haynie, company CEO.

The machine they designed will be used to weld lids on nuclear waste canisters for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland. It's called a Friction Stir Welding Machine, which welds the lids on the storage canisters without causing fumes or sparks.

"Using frictional heat to warm material, to the point that it becomes plastic, that is, it becomes like putty or soft butterand we stir a toll through the material to actually join solid pieces into a single piece without ever melting the materials," said Haynie.

The welded canisters will go deep beneath the ground.

"Large copper canisters, that store nuclear waste fuel, and those canisters will be stored in bedrock in Finland and they will be there for a lifetime of around 100,000 years," said Dave Hofferbert, company president.

Those with the company say the company is a dream come true, considering the fact that they competed with an established Swedish company for the contract and the fact that they have only been in business one year.

"This makes a huge difference for us as a company, you know, as a start up you can either languish or you can grow. This has enabled us to grow," said Hofferbert.

The company currently has eight employees and plans to build the welding equipment and take it to Finland. There, it will oversee the installation and start up of the machinery.

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