With its Super SapTM line of bio-derived epoxy systems, Entropy Resins, a California-based materials company, is enabling companies to create a new generation of environmentally friendly, high performance composite products.
Over the past year, Entropy has partnered with several sporting goods companies to bring their Super SapTM technology to market. One such company, Utah-based Niche Snowboards, uses a proprietary version of Super SapTM across their entire snowboard line. “From the start we wanted to design and build a product where every component had some environmental improvement over the industry standard,” states Dustin Morrell, COO of Niche. “However, snowboards go through an incredible amount of abuse so we had to make sure these components were not only eco-friendly but also performed. Entropy Resins was able to deliver on both goals.”
For 2011, Entropy customers are introducing commercial products across other action sports, including alpine skis, skateboards, and surfboards. However, eco-friendly sporting goods are just the beginning for the materials company. Entropy Resins is expanding into the larger composites markets like wind energy, transportation, and civil engineering. “With new industry standards and government legislation focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing the sustainability of our natural resources, we feel there are further opportunities for our bio-based technology,” states Desi Banatao, lead applications engineer for Entropy. Later this year, Entropy will introduce a line of coatings and adhesive products aimed specifically at the construction industry, as well as resin infusion systems for making large composite parts.
Entropy’s Super SapTM epoxy is based on a patent pending process that replaces petroleum-based chemicals with those sourced from bio-renewable feedstock and waste streams of other industrial processes. “By sharing bio-renewable feed stocks with other industries, like the paper pulp and bio-fuels industries, and using manufacturing processes that require less energy and water we can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our resins,” states Rey Banatao, Entropy’s lead biochemist. “Considering resins can be more than 50% of the volume in a composite structure, these savings can be environmentally significant.”
Because composites are integral to a product’s structure and integrity, performance has always been a priority for Entropy’s R&D efforts and is the key differentiator for their products. “Historically, bio-derived materials have been used in the resin industry as diluents or plasticizers in adhesives and coatings, which is usually opposite of what you want in a composite,” states Desi Banatao. “However from the beginning our goal has been to employ bio-derived technologies that not only match the performance of existing petroleum-based composites but surpass them in certain areas.” These areas include adhesion and elongation properties that can improve the longevity of the composite structure and ultimately the end product.