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
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 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, our prepreg is pre-cured, shelf-stable, and requires no refrigeration for transport or storage.
Mallinda's vitrimer prepreg resin 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 cradle-to-cradle, 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.
MEET THE TEAM
Chris Kaffer is the CEO and Co-founder of Mallinda. He holds a PhD in Immuology 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 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 a low-key aviation, astronomy, and automotive aficionado.
Philip Taynton, CTO
Heather Rubin, VP R&D
Heather Rubin joined Mallinda in 2019 as the Vice President of Research & Development. At Mallinda, she plays a versatile role from 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 ten authored academic papers and one patent. 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.
Neelmanee Sarin with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and Bachelors in Technology from Krishna Engineering College in Mechanical Engineering joined Mallinda in 2019 as the Vice President of Engineering. Neelmanee has expertise in fiber composite manufacturing, material analysis and with his background in Research and Aerospace sector, he leads the engineering support, design and manufacturing efforts towards the scale-up production of Mallinda's pilot commercial product. In his leisure time, he enjoys biking, gaming and is an avid coffee drinking enthusiast.
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.
Erik Rognerud is a Colorado native who enjoys biking, video games, and sports. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2018 with a BS in Chemistry where he gained valuable experience in solid-state and analytical chemistry. As a Chemist at Mallinda, Erik assists with chemical formulation development and materials testing.