The carbon fiber composites industry is massive, encompassing everything from airplanes to automobiles to wind turbines and even sports equipment like golf clubs.
Now, a new company called Boston Materials is ready to flip the $25 billion industry on its head with an evolved and stronger carbon fiber composite, enabling the construction of lighter and more durable structures and vehicles for almost the same cost.
Founders Anvesh Gurijala and Michael Segal, along with Northeastern University Professor Randall Erb have developed a new process of reinforcing traditional, two-dimensional carbon fiber composites by vertically aligning microscopic fibers to create a three-dimensional carbon composite.
The result is a material, commonly referred to in the industry as “prepreg” that is five times stronger in the Z-axis compared to standard carbon fiber composites and vastly improves delamination resistance.
“With our prepreg, you can potentially use five times less material for the same level of stiffness. You can definitely make planes, cars and more much cheaper, with the whole structure being lighter too,” Greg Dobak, chief revenue officer at Boston Materials, told The Buzz. “The big advantage we have is that we are using slightly modified, standard ‘prepregging’ line so our material cost just pennies more to make than traditional carbon fiber composites.”
The company is fast drawing the attention from a number of industries – pressure vessels, an industry with carbon fiber usage growing at 20 percent per year, as well as the wind turbine industry, bike companies, marine applications and it eventually plans to grow into aerospace.
The company has thus far been completely bootstrapped, generating revenue through external contracts and then putting that money back into its Burlington-based R&D lab and production.
Currently, Dobak said Boston Materials is in the middle of its seed round. The money will go to ordering a prepregging line that the company can then add its proprietary module to produce material at an industrial scale.
The company is in the process of launching its first continuous production machine capable of producing of six-inch wide tapes for delivery to pilot customers. If interested in funding opportunities, please email Greg Dobak at firstname.lastname@example.org.