Haley Marie Keith, CEO and co-founder, and Kevin Keith, CTO and co-founder
The next generation in manufacturing innovation requires increased polymer strength whether fiber-reinforced polyester or epoxy, or even thermoplastic. Composite additive manufacturing newcomer MITO Material Solutions is ready to deliver that strength, coupled with an up to 35% weight reduction, via revolutionary manufacturing additives.
Our team recently sat down with MITO’s company founders after a marathon week of fund-raising and customer acquisitions. Despite that, co-founders Haley Marie Keith, CEO, and Kevin Keith, CTO, were upbeat and enthusiastic about supporting manufacturers with additive technology innovations. This enthusiasm, coupled with an interest in serving customers rather than competing, have propelled the company in just a few short years from its beginnings as a college classroom project to a leading provider of hybrid polymer modifiers.
MITO Material Solutions started in 2018 after receiving a National Science Foundation SBIR grant to fund the development and commercialization ofhybrid polymer additives. Their initial offering was hybridized Graphene Oxide and an Epoxide POSS, which was dubbed “E-GO”. This additive allows fiber-reinforced thermoset and thermoplastic consumers to increase product performance anywhere between 20-135 percent. Further, it ensures increased part durability and reduces the component weight by 35 percent.
E-GO provides chemical and physical bonding points within the graphene matrix itself. When MITO’S additives are mixed into resins, plastics, coatings, or adhesives, they provide the physical properties and structure of graphene - which is an amorphous platelet or crystalline platelet - andthe possibility for a chemical reaction with epoxides.
This functionality allows the polymers to adhere, whether it is in a composite or on the top of a substrate.
All MITO additives are engineered to integrate into existing production lines at an extremely low concentration with proven compatibility in a variety of material combinations.
MITO Material Solutions supplies additive-to-material formulations to original equipment manufacturers across multiple industries, including RV, boat, and aerospace manufacturers. MITO’s additives also have the capability to make materials lighter, saving fuel and materials cost or tougher, to reduce the possibilities of mechanical failure.
For example, when a semi-trailer manufacturer used MITO Material Solutions’ offering to transition from metal trailers to composite trailers, they drastically boosted the material performance of the polymer as they shed 40 percent of the trailer’s original weight. This also allowed the manufacturer to use a cost-efficient material to maintain 18,000 pound low capacity and halve the fatigue lives while going down the road.
MITO Material Solutions supplies additive-to-material formulations to original equipment manufacturers across multiple industries, including RV, boat, and aerospace manufacturers.
MITO additives double the interlaminar toughness in composite materials, providing manufacturers the ability to make lighter and tougher parts. As a result, the likelihood of mechanical failure is reduced. “Our additive is non-toxic, safe to handle, and alters no other mechanical properties in the formulation,” states Kevin.
Going forward, MITO Material Solutions is in development to expand its product line, including more bio-based polymeric materials, such as cornstarch, and additional graphene dispersal functions. From their inclusive office and lab facility in Indianapolis at the center of Midwest manufacturing, MITO also conducts collaborative product development operations with a diversified group of customers and seeks to engage with clients from across North America.
“MITO’s uniquely scalable additive solution set can be paired with a number of polymers to create stronger, lightweight final products without changing production systems. We are 100% ready to support the U.S. manufacturers’ fight against climate change and to help them achieve sustainability goals,” concludes Haley.