SBIR Phase II: Development of Advanced Composite Materials for Athletic Equipment
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is for the development of scaled processes for the industrial manufacture of end-user moldable advanced composite materials for use in protective athletic equipment. Currently, protective athletic equipment and accessories must be produced using industrial manufacturing techniques that have high tooling costs. As a result, manufacturers produce a small range of predetermined sizes and shapes, which do not provide a custom fit for end users. In the case of athletic gear, there is a growing market for hard-shell protective equipment which can be custom molded for a better fit. Polyimine polymers and advanced composites offer a compelling blend of strength and malleability in order to create more user-friendly lightweight and durable advanced composites that may be shaped by the end-user. In addition to creating greater user customization, both the virgin polyimine polymer, and advanced composites that incorporate polyimines, are intrinsically recyclable in a closed-loop, low-energy, solution-based system. The total U.S. composite materials market is $25 billion, representing 36% of the global composites sector. Polyimine polymers and advanced composite derivatives will reduce environmental waste and increase manufacturing efficiencies across a broad range of vertical markets in the composites sector including personal protective equipment, aerospace, automotive, and infrastructural materials.The intellectual merit of this project derives from the development of the unique chemistry of polyimine polymers. Polymers can be broadly grouped into two categories, thermosets and thermoplastics. Thermosets are strong due to the chemical characteristics of the plastic. However, once cured, thermosets cannot be reshaped. As a result, thermosets are neither repairable, nor are they efficiently recyclable. In contrast, thermoplastics, which are weaker than thermosets, may be molded and remolded. However, remolding requires very high temperatures. Polyimine polymers represent a new class of moldable and remoldable thermoset materials. Importantly, these polymers combine high rigidity and tough mechanical properties with mild molding temperatures. This Phase II research project will include scaled processes for the industrial manufacture of end user moldable composite materials that are a maximum of one-quarter inch in thickness and meet industry standards for limb joint protective equipment. The Phase II effort will also include a variety of types of material and mechanical testing, both in-house and at certified laboratories, in addition to extensive efforts at proving out manufacturability, as well as pilot production.
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is for the development of scaled processes for the industrial manufacture of end-user moldable advanced composite materials for use in protective athletic equipment. Currently, protective athletic equipment and accessories must be produced using industrial manufacturing techniques that have high tooling costs. As a result, manufacturers produce a small range of predetermined sizes and shapes, which do not provide a custom fit for end users. In the case of ath...
Vitrimers are covalent network polymers with dynamically exchangeable crosslinks. These materials have been shown to exhibit many of the advantageous mechanical properties of thermosets, while enabling new processing paradigms such as moldability, weldability, and recyclablility. While diverse examples of functional vitrimer networks are being reported, polyimine vitrimers are unique in that: 1. They do not require additional catalysts for reversibility; 2. They are environmentally stable; 3. they can be readily prepared from commercially available monomers.
Mallinda is an advanced materials company developing this new class of materials that that enables high throughput manufacturing of carbon fiber composite parts for the automotive and consumer product markets.
Mallinda's vitrimeric resin system eliminates the slow infusion and long curing cycles of today's resins; enabling compression-molding of products in just seconds for high-throughput, high-volume production of structural composites. In addition, Mallinda's technology is pre-cured, shelf-stable, and requires no refrigeration for transport and storage.
Our prepreg resin is a disruptive platform technology that allows rapid (< 1 minute) compression molding of fully cured thermoset composite parts. It is designed for carbon fiber composite production using rapid compression molding techniques analogous to sheet metal stamping. In addition, Mallinda’s resin can be depolymerized in solution for a cradle-to-cradle, energy-neutral system for the recovery of resin and woven/full-length fiber. For demonstrations of Mallinda's material properties visit mallinda.com
Through formulation and engineering solutions, Mallinda is continually working to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of its material to meet the stringent demands of the aerospace and automotive markets.
The proposed project is to develop a radical polymerizable polyimine vitrimer. This project will combine the polymer synthesis and vitrimer know-how of Mallinda LLC’s development team with the wealth of experienced materials researchers and synthetic chemists at Molecular Foundry’s Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Experience within the fields of organic chemistry and materials science with emphasis on polymeric chemical formulation is required.
Knowledge and experience in thermal and mechanical characterization of materials via DMA, TGA,and DSC is desired. Knowledge of composite materials is a plus.
Small Business Postdoctoral Research Diversity Fellowship Program
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