Pyrograf was spun off as subsidiary to Applied Sciences Inc. in 1999 and became an independent company in 2002. Since then, with research and development support by ASI, the company has produced carbon nanotubes for growing military and commercial products. Carbon nanotubes can improve the properties of polymers and act as either an insulator or a conductor -- for both heat and electricity. The company's 25-year relationship with General Motors resulted in GM's licensing of its carbon fiber patents for use in automotive components. In late 2010, the company was hoping to take another key step: providing material for the lithium ion battery that powers the all-electric Chevy Volt. The company has benefited from crucial state funding, including money awarded through the Ohio Third Frontier.