WHAT ARE VITRIMERS?
For the last 100 years, synthetic polymers have been divided into two general categories: thermosets, which have excellent mechanical properties, but must be irreversibly cured prior to final use; and thermoplastics, which can be melted down and reprocessed, but have inferior thermal and mechanical properties.
Vitrimers represent a new class of polymers based on dynamically exchangeable imine-linked polymer networks. Like thermosets, vitrimers are highly crosslinked network polymers. However, unlike thermosets that are permanently in fixed form after curing, vitrimer chemistry yields a product that can be remolded. When heated above the glass transition, the fully cured network polymer undergoes rapid dynamic covalent bond exchange within the polymer network. This allows for facile processing of thermoset materials that can be heated to a specific temperature after being fully cured and reshaped. Upon cooling the materials retain thermoset-like mechanical performance.
Heat and apply pressure
Dry layup of pre-cured plies
Heat (s to min) at < 500 psi
PRE-CURED VITRIMER MATRIX COMPOSITE-3 MINUTE IN MOLD CONSOLIDATION CYCLE
WHAT WE DO AND WHY?
The reversible nature of vitrimers enables covalent welding, molding, reshaping, and solution-based closed-loop recycling of fully cured materials. The chemistry is highly tunable to meet the thermomechanical requirements across industry segments. By way of example, Mallinda has formulated polymers with glass transition temperatures (Tgs) ranging from ~20 C - ~240 C.
Mallinda's patented Vitrimer resin platform 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, our prepreg is pre-cured, shelf-stable, and requires no refrigeration for transport or storage.
Mallinda's vitrimer prepreg is a disruptive platform technology that enables rapid (< 1 minute) compression molding of fully cured thermoset composite parts. It is designed for fiber reinforced composite (FRC) production using rapid compression molding techniques analogous to sheet metal stamping. In addition, Mallinda’s resin can be recovered using reagents utilized in the resin synthesis. This is key to (1) allowing a circular, energy-neutral system for the recovery of resin and woven/full-length fiber that does not require the use of heat nor the introduction of any additional chemical components outside of our formulations for recycling; (2) enabling full recovery and re-usability of our resin.
RECYCLABLE ADVANCED CARBON FIBER COMPOSITES
Mallinda has developed a completely closed loop system for the recovery of both polymer and carbon fiber from CFRC end-of-life products and scrap materials. Our patented recycling process takes advantage of the reversible chemistry of our material, generating no excess waste, and using almost no energy. Both the recovered carbon fiber and the recovered resin can be reused to make fresh composite materials.
RANGE OF PROCESSING TEMPERATURES & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
Mallinda’s vitrimer resins can be formulated to have a range of vitrimer transition temperatures. Our resins can be molded at temperatures as low as ~20 C and as high as ~240 C, depending on formulation. In some applications, this feature has the benefit of allowing end-users to custom mold our resin or composites derived therefrom, to suit the end user’s needs without the use of expensive and massive industrial equipment.
In addition, Mallinda's material can be formulated for a range of mechanical properties - from elastomeric to crystalline.
Due to the unique nature of vitrimer chemistry our prepreg and resin arrive pre-cured. There is no requirement for refrigerated storage and transport. Mallinda’s materials are indefinitely shelf stable under ambient conditions.
REPROCESSABLE FOR THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Mallinda’s resin may be recycled many times over. The fully cured resin may be isolated using precursors from the initial resin synthesis. After isolation, simply balancing the resin formulation as needed enables full reusability.
The plastic may also be ground into a powder and reformed into new shapes with heat and pressure. This both increases the input lifetime vis-a-vis recycling and reduces the energy required during re-purposing.
In addition, Mallinda's ability to implement solid state thermoforming could revolutionize production of powder-based composite materials.
MEET THE TEAM
Chris Kaffer is the CEO and Co-founder of Mallinda. He holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from UC, Berkeley, and an MBA from CU, Boulder. He has led the company’s funding and commercialization strategies raising over $2.5 million in non-dilutive funding to reduce technical and market risk, and $2 million in strategic capital from SABIC to scale commercial processes.
Chris Kaffer, CEO
Philip Taynton holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he began his work with vitrimer technology. Together with Chris Kaffer, Philip co-founded Mallinda in 2014. As the CTO, Philip is responsible for the development of Mallinda’s technology. In addition to “on the job” business training, Philip completed the NSF I-CORPS training program as an entrepreneurial lead. He also spent two years as a Cyclotron Road Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Prior to Mallinda, Philip worked for 3 years in new product development for Avery Dennison in Pasadena, CA. Philip loves spending time with his golden retriever and is low-key aviation, astronomy, and automotive aficionado.
Philip Taynton, CTO
Heather Rubin joined Mallinda in 2019 as the Vice President of Research & Development. At Mallinda, she plays a versatile role in leading chemical design projects, aiding innovative engineering solutions, and overseeing the technical staff. Dr. Rubin is an expert in organic chemistry and materials chemistry with more than ten authored academic papers and two patents. She completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Colorado State University and holds her BA and MS in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Heather is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her dog in the mountains – snowboarding, camping, hiking, biking, or climbing.
Heather Rubin, VP R&D
Sarah Sadowski graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She joined Mallinda’s technical team in 2016 and currently works as a chemist. Sarah specializes in resin synthesis, material characterization and analyses. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, scuba diving, and skiing.
Sarah Sadowski, Chemist
Jack Burns, originally from Houston, TX, is working towards earning his BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering, with a minor in business administration, at Colorado State University. He assists with material analysis, process development, data entry, and resin synthesis. In his free time he enjoys reading, hanging out with his dog, and practicing instruments.
Marina Tobey graduated in 2019 with her BS in Chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines. As an undergraduate, she was involved in research detecting radiation via plastic scintillators as well as research with the biocompatibility of drug delivery devices. Marina joined Mallinda in 2020 and assists the technical team with chemical formulation, polymer rheology, kinetics, material development and analysis. She enjoys live music, running, playing soccer, and cooking in her free time.
Marina Tobey, Chemist
Sara Meyer is working towards earning her BS in Chemistry at the University of Colorado Denver. She has worked as a pharmacy technician and certified nurse assistant. In 2020, her interests and most recent work has led her to Mallinda’s technical team as a Chemistry Intern where she assists with material analysis, data entry, and resin synthesis. Sara enjoys ATV and dirt bike riding, snowboarding, softball, and outdoor activities.
Sara Meyer, Chemistry Intern
Born and raised in Bangladesh, Sanzida earned her PhD in Mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, where she worked on several industry-funded projects and solved real-world challenges. She studied the recycling of prepreg trim waste composites via sheet molding compound (SMC), a possible solution for aerospace waste management as well as a low-cost high-value material source for automotive industries, and also fabricated high thermal conductivity polymer composites from polyethylene fiber for chassis material. Before joining Mallinda Sanzida worked in Technology Development at Intel Corporation. At Mallinda, Dr. Sultana assists with engineering challenges and facilitates the commercial recycling process for vitrimer resins. She enjoys hiking and cooking in her leisure time.