Evolva has teamed up with the US Navy to focus on the development of a new class of structural composite material engineered from a polymer resin matrix fabricated from a specified formulation of Evolva’s resveratrol.
Currently available structural carbon composites are often unsuited for high-energy, high fire-risk applications such as fuel tanks, engine components, high-rise buildings, elevators, rockets, trains, and lithium battery casings, to name just a few.
Resveratrol is an ingredient found in certain plants that is associated with a range of functional effects when the plant is subjected to extreme stress from things like heat, dehydration, or disease. Many of the functional effects associated with resveratrol that are observed in nature are thought to be mediated by its induction of “survival” genes.
The polymer resin matrix being tested for this new class of composite materials is made from a special formulation of resveratrol, which can be economically and sustainably manufactured on an industrial scale using advanced biotechnology and fermentation, converted to a thermosetting monomer, and then polymerised and shaped/moulded using standard fabrication techniques.
Prototype materials made from Evolva’s resveratrol have performed well in preliminary tests, exhibiting a number of advantages over existing fire-resistant materials. Resveratrol polymer composites are lighter than aluminium, halogen free, and able to withstand prolonged exposure to intense heat and flame impingement without combusting or structurally degrading. More testing is needed, but if results remain consistent it could usher in a new class of structural composite materials.