Strong and durable like thermosets, yet moldable and recyclable like thermoplastics, vitrimers are ‘malleable thermosets’ which are challenging the status quo in the composites industry. Mallinda, a startup company founded by some of the pioneering inventors of the technology, is developing malleable CFRPs for rapid (∼30 s) production cycle times.
Carbon‐fiber reinforced composites are prepared using catalyst‐free malleable polyimine networks as binders. An energy neutral closed‐loop recycling process has been developed, enabling recovery of 100% of the imine components and carbon fibers in their original form. Polyimine films made using >21% recycled content exhibit no loss of mechanical performance, therefore indicating all of the thermoset composite material can be recycled and reused for the same purpose.
A catalyst‐free malleable network polymer that can be reprocessed by application of either water or heat is prepared through imine chemistry. This material is recycled from a fine powder to a coherent solid with >100% recycling efficiency through several generations. It is also reprocessed at ambient temperature using only water, thus potentially leading to energy‐neutral green processing of the material.