AUSTIN (KXAN) – ALUULA Composites is collaborating with the University of British Columbia to develop some of the world’s first composite materials that are strong, durable, and light but also recyclable.
Meteorologist Sean Kelly spoke with Richard Myerscough, CEO and founder of innovative composite materials firm ALUULA, about how they created a more sustainable material. You can read the interview below to learn more.
Sean Kelly, KXAN News: Can you can you tell us a little bit about the company?
Richard Myerscough, ALUULA: We’re a high-end manufacturer of very light, very strong composite materials. So not only is it recyclable, the raw materials are recyclable, the end of use products are recyclable. But the fabric or the composite itself is much, much stronger than the traditional.
Kelly: So your company basically created a material that is more durable and stronger but also when the scraps are broken down they can be reused?
Richard Myerscough, ALUULA: Yeah, exactly… So most backpacks are made with nylon type materials that have a different type of coating of plastic on them. So unfortunately, they can’t be recycled easily. Nylon on its own, it’s very difficult to recycle. So what we’ve done is we’ve looked at these markets, and we’re not just trying to make a recyclable material that is the same performance, we’re really upping the performance of these materials. And this is our new graphite, composite material for high end backpacks. This weighs about one quarter of the weight of a traditional pack material. And it’s got all the strength and everything. So you’d see this in a high-end, mountaineering backpack, but again, it’s just, you know, compared to traditional materials, it’s just out of this world. Again its mono polymer. So what does that mean? It means that we can take the scraps, we could, for example, use recycled polymers, we can turn those discarded plastics into films or fibers. And then we can recreate a new material, high-end composite single polymer.
Kelly: What are your goals for the future?
Myerscough: Yeah, so the big picture is forward facing products, where there’s not some technical reason that we have to put another Polymer in it or something for specialized reason.
So we sell to a lot of big brands out in the world. And in yachting and watersports outdoors, we’re going to try to eventually have a system where we can get entities products back because these fibers are valuable. So I think the big picture was a way for us to retrieve these old products, get them back, and reuse those materials.