Reshaping the plastics industry
Chris Kaffer and Philip Taynton met at the University of Colorado, Boulder where Chris was completing his MBA and Philip was working on his Ph.D. in Chemistry. They teamed up to win the University of Colorado-wide startup competition in 2014, and Mallinda was created. Since that time they have completed the NSF’s Innovation-Corps entrepreneurship program, graduated from the Colorado Innosphere technology start-up incubator, garnered an Advanced Industries Accelerator grant from the state of Colorado, and SBIR grant from the NSF.
The academic work associated with Mallinda’s technology has been honored with “Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research” recognition from the American Chemical Society, and the team was invited to present at the 2015 South-by-Southwest Eco conference. They are excited to be leading this effort at Cyclotron Road to develop transformative composite materials technology.
Critical need: Advanced composites materials and carbon fiber reinforced composites have transformed the aerospace industry, and are rapidly being incorporated into the broader transportation industry, greatly improving the efficiency, and decreasing consumption of fossil fuels. However, composites typically make use of epoxies or other thermoset resins, which make parts difficult to manufacture, nearly impossible to repair, and impractical to recycle.
Technology vision: Mallinda is developing malleable thermoset resins that enable simple and scalable processability of thermoset-based composites, and offer closed-loop, low-energy recyclability.
Current state-of-the-art: While recycling-processes for thermoset materials are under development, most of these technologies are energy-intensive, and/or produce significantly downgraded materials. Separately, there is a push, particularly from the automotive industry, to decrease the cure-time of traditional thermoset composites, as cycle-time is a critical metric for manufacturing in this sector.
Key innovation: Mallinda makes use of exchangeable covalent bonds to form network polymers which can be easily reprocessed, re-shaped, welded, de-polymerized, and re-polymerized. The robust imine chemistry enables a wide variety of polymers with easily tunable thermal, chemical, and mechanical properties.
Manufacturing challenges: Development of turnkey, scalable materials and processes, and optimization of formulations to meet the mechanical and thermal requirements of various applications.
Competing technology: There are other innovative resins and additives which can enable low energy-recycling, and recovery of carbon fiber materials. However, these technologies typically produce down-graded resin materials.
First market hypothesis: Mallinda’s first product class has been developed for remoldable composite athletic equipment to enable customizable impact-protective gear. As a material supplier for innovative sporting goods companies, Mallinda works iteratively with product innovation groups to meet the desired performance criteria of its customers. The sporting goods sector combines premium pricing and low barriers to entry, both facilitating Mallinda’s entry into the marketplace and ability to quickly generate revenue.
Potential for impact: Mallinda’s technology represents a paradigm shift for advanced composite materials. With rapidly increasing demand for carbon fiber, the economic and environmental impact of recoverable resin and carbon fiber from advanced composite scrap materials and end-of-life products is significant. Recycling carbon fiber offers a viable means to extend supply and stabilize price for many cost-sensitive customers, while reducing waste from scrap. Ultimately, these
We're looking for:
- Technical collaborators
- Team members – engineers/scientists
- Team members – business development
- Joint development partners
Contact: chris [at] mallinda [dot] com and philip [at] mallinda [dot] com