Massachusetts-based startup raises funding to launch carbon fiber super-composite
Boston Materials (Boston, Mass., U.S.), a Massachusetts-based startup that manufactures breakthrough Carbon Supercomposite using a patented Z-axis reinforcement technology in a carbon fiber composite, has raised $1.75 million in seed funding led by the Clean Energy Venture Fund with participation from SABIC (Pittfield, Mass., U.S.) and the Clean Energy Venture Group (Cambridge, Mass., U.S.). The company plans to use the funding to grow its team of strategic new hires and increase the scale of its manufacturing capacity. These initiatives will reportedly help drive the market launch of its first Carbon Supercomposite product in summer of 2019.
“It’s with great excitement that we close our first round of funding and move one step closer to solving the world’s most critical material challenges,” says Anvesh Gurijala, CEO at Boston Materials. “With the help of these pivotal investors, Boston Materials can move Carbon Supercomposite products into the marketplace and enable our customers to produce durable, safe and unique components that will transform the energy and transportation sectors.”
Carbon Supercomposite is a carbon fiber composite that uses a proprietary fiber alignment technology to improve the performance of existing carbon fiber materials, reportedly unlocking a host of new applications and improvements to existing designs and structures. Boston Materials says the technology improves toughness and strength and allows for enhanced electrical and thermal conductivities. According to the company, the application will aid in the advancement and efficiency of the pressure vessel, wind energy, sporting goods, automotive, aerospace, as well as other markets. With the latest funding, the company has secured a pilot production facility and the manufacturing equipment for its state-of-the-art composite material.
“There is an opportunity for Boston Materials’ Carbon Supercomposite technology to quickly be integrated with SABIC thermoplastics portfolio. This potential could enable a revolutionary change to how composite structures can be designed,” says Dr. Fahad Al-Sherehy, vice president of technology and innovation at SABIC. “Our investment in Boston Materials reflects our commitment and drive to identify and promote novel technologies and breakthrough processes that support SABIC success and introduce novelty into the world of petrochemicals.”
To date, Boston Materials has developed and scaled its core Carbon Supercomposite technology with the aid of state and federal government grants. Previously, the company received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (Arlington, Va., U.S.) and a Catalyst grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC, Boston, Mass., U.S.). The company says it will commence its Series-A funding early this summer and is actively partnering with companies in order to test Carbon Supercomposite prepregs in diverse applications.
A look at the process by which precursor becomes carbon fiber through a careful (and mostly proprietary) manipulation of temperature and tension.
Oven-cured, vacuum-bagged prepregs show promise in production primary structures.
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.