Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials KyronMAX® Challenge
Show us what your ideas are made of.
Do you have a product, part, or concept that you want to bring to life?
The Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials KyronMAX® Challenge invites you to share a design that utilizes KyronMAX®’s range of breakthrough, high strength carbon fiber-based composites to solve an engineering or manufacturing challenge.
Winning ideas will receive $25,000 worth of manufacturing support to create a fully developed prototype.
Your submission can be a stand-alone product or a component of a larger design. Successful submissions will need to show how the design takes advantage of the unique properties of KyronMAX® materials and complements the platform’s capabilities. The challenge’s jury will reward projects that prioritize sustainability while maintaining a high level of feasibility and ingenuity.
Winning submissions will receive expert support and manufacturing services from Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials to create a fully developed prototype of their idea. The prize package includes collaboration with KyronMAX® engineers in:
- Material Selection.
- Part design.
- Testing and production of a functional prototype using SPRINT ( Soluble PRinted INjection Tooling ) technology.
- Setup of production scale-up plan.
- Assessment of the project’s sustainability and recycling potential in order to create zero waste.
In addition, KyronMAX® and Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials will facilitate investment opportunities and assist with potential future co-branding activities.
Submit Your Idea to The Challenge
Fill out this short form by March 12, 2021, before 12 pm ( PT ). We ask that you provide us with the following:
- Personal details.
- What engineering or manufacturing challenge are you solving with KyronMAX®?
- Describe your submission idea and its intent ( up to 500 words ).
- Describe why your idea is a good match with the KyronMAX® platform? Please indicate load case, temperature range, and application environment ( up to 150 words ).
- Provide one clear rendered image of your design ( max file size 10 MB ).
- Submit images that strengthen your submission – e.g., screenshots, illustrations, drawings ( up to 5 images. max file size 10 MB ).
- Designs may comprise of multiple parts.
- Teams must be available during the challenge to collaborate with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials KyronMAX® and Wevolver. Winning design teams must also be available in the months after the challenge for production.
Submit your idea to the challenge before February 12, 2021, and KyronMAX® engineers will review your entry for feedback and direction. You can then adjust your design and re-enter your submission.
|Challenge Opens||12 January 2021|
|Early Bird Submissions Close||12 February 2021|
|Challenge Closes||12 March 2021|
|Semi-finalists Announced||23 March 2021|
|Winner Announcement Event||6 April 2021|
The Judging Criteria
The KyronMAX® challenge will reward projects that prioritize sustainability and push the boundaries of light weighting, while maintaining a high level of feasibility and ingenuity.
Successful designs will meet the following submission requirements:
Feasibility and Scalability
1. Can the design work to create a functioning product or part of a product?
2. Can it be manufactured with the KyronMAX® platform?
3. Does the idea demonstrate a positive impact on the environment? For example:
- Production: Reducing/recycling waste or reducing the energy consumption
- In-use: metal replacement ( light weight ), friction reduction, etc.
- End-of-life: facilitate a closed-loop for recycling ( recollect parts end-of-life )
Meet the Jury
Global Manager Growth Garage – Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Tim Vorage joined Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials in 2019 to set up and lead the Growth Garage aiming to accelerate growth. He has a passion for new business development based on high-tech solutions that contribute to a Circular Economy. As a growth leader, he is involved in selecting key areas of growth, designing differentiated, holistic value propositions, designing Minimum Viable Products ( MVPs ) and leading market introductions of new technologies. Prior to joining Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, he worked across multiple industries and technologies, including R&D, engineering plastics, modeling, manufacturing, application development, composites and incubation.
Composites Technology Manager Engineered Solutions – Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Clint Newell joined Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials in 2019 as the Composites Technology Manager based at the Technology & Innovation Center in Mesa, AZ. As a technology and strategy leader, he’s been involved in the research, development, and commercialization of composite materials and advanced manufacturing technologies since 1998. Before joining Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, he worked across a number of industries and technologies, including high-performance composites, R&D, automated manufacturing, nanotechnology, multi-functional materials and structures, hybrid materials and hybrid manufacturing, Digital Direct Manufacturing, and large scale robotic Additive Manufacturing.
Strategic Accounts Manager Thermoplastic Carbon Composites Technical Sales – Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Alex Wojtysiak has been with Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials since 2017. With a background in compounding and injection molding, Alex began his journey in biochemistry and biofuel production as a Bioreactor Operator. He subsequently joined Mitsubishi Chemical, where he now sits within the technical sales/key account management team for carbon fiber composites. He joined the organization at a time when it started expanding into carbon fiber composites, and since then has enjoyed finding new and innovative composite solutions for the different industries Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials services.
Chief Innovation Officer – Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
Member of Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials Global leadership Team; Chair of Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials Composites Steering Committee. Former President/CEO Piper Plastics Inc. 1989 –2016. Graduated from Marquette University 1984. Served five years active duty with United States Marine Corps as a USMC Officer. Joined Piper Plastics as Business Development & Technology Manager in 1989, took over as GM of Chandler, AZ facility in 1991, assumed role of President of Piper in 1996; CEO and Chairman of the Board in 2002. Built global high-performance custom parts manufacturing company. Acquired by Mitsubishi Chemical in 2016. Hobbies: family time, fitness, enjoying time outdoors, learning new technology.
President – Diamond Edge Ventures
Patrick has over 15-years experience establishing and managing international CVC funds. Prior to entering the investment world, he worked in various positions with multiple software startups in Silicon Valley from Artificial Intelligence to Financial Services or Tools and Learning. He was also an entrepreneur, founding 3 companies of his own. Patrick joined MCHC in 2018 to establish and lead DEV in Menlo Park, after a long tenure at Panasonic Ventures. Besides his CVC practice know-how, he brings to DEV a unique combination of technical expertise, business acumen and international experience that the companies in his portfolio value. Patrick earned a MSc. In Physics followed by a MSc. in Artificial Intelligence. He can still be found coding, for pleasure, late at night.
CEO – Wevolver
Bram Geenen co-founded Wevolver to provide engineers with the knowledge and connections they need to innovate. For this work, the company was awarded the SXSW Innovation Award and listed by Fast Company in the Top 20 Most Innovative Web Platforms. Prior to Wevolver, Bram founded an international design studio focused on pushing the boundaries of 3D printing and material technology to create extremely lightweight and more sustainable products. The studio’s work was published globally and acquired by design museums.
Reshaping Materials Engineering
KyronMAX® is a range of high strength carbon fiber-based composites created by Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, designed to be applicable in low, medium, or high-volume parts production. KyronMAX® can be molded using the same equipment and tooling as standard or unfilled resins, while compounds can be customized to meet application requirements.
It is suitable for metal replacement ( steel, aluminum, magnesium ) in some applications. Crucially, where traditional materials struggle, KyronMAX® injection moldable materials retain high strength in complex part geometries, making them stronger, lighter, and longer-lasting ( tougher ) than other thermoplastic composite and metal parts while offering greater design freedom.
- 75% lighter than steel.
- 50% lighter than aluminum.
- 55k+ PSI tensile strength.
- <30% lower component cost per unit.
KyronMAX® is suitable for, but not limited to applications including:
- Drone and UAV casings.
- Sports and leisure equipment.
- Consumer product design.
Function Defines Form
KyronMAX® is more than just a range of injection-moldable composites – it is also an engineering partnership. From initial design to rapid prototyping and production, all the way through to zero waste sustainability, KyronMAX® works with engineers to help bring their breakthrough ideas to life. The KyronMAX® platform offers a range of low-risk, scalable materials that maintain their properties at different volumes, allowing the production of:
- Functional prototypes ( 1-10 pieces ) and low volume series production ( 10-100s pieces ) with SPRINT technology, 3D-printing the soluble tool, and injection molding of the part.
- Medium volume production ( 100-10,000s pieces ), 3D-printing the metal insert ( which is placed in a metal tool ), and injection molding of the part.
- High volume production ( >10,000s pieces ), using a full metal tool and injection molding of the part.
Focus on Sustainability
KyronMAX® composites can be returned for re-use to create zero waste using an end-of-life recycling program, while a vertically integrated and closed-loop supply chain supports their commitment to the circular economy. Additionally, designs modified to reduce weight designs ( for example, metal replacement ) may reduce the energy consumption of moving parts ( transportation ) and, or increase the speed and accuracy of moving parts ( robotics ), which also has a positive impact on the in-use carbon footprint.
Learn more about KyronMAX® in our overview article here.
For a comprehensive technical overview, please visit kyronmax.mcam.com.
Feel free to get in touch with Wevolver: jessica ( at ) wevolver.com
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the carbon fiber recycled?
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials has the option to use re-purposed ( would have been waste ) in the KyronMAX® materials. Waste during the production of the parts is collected, cleaned, dried, re-compounded, and can be combined with the virgin material ( to be used in new parts ). Many applications require a high level of consistency and traceability of the raw materials used in the compounds. Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials is uniquely able to provide this, even with re-purposed carbon fiber. At the end of the product’s of life, we can take back the part. We’ll clean it, grind it, dry it, and re-compound it with virgin material, after which we do an extensive quality check and the material can be used for injection molding again to create new parts with a high level of consistency and ensure traceability.
What the dimensions of the printing envelope?
Fast prototyping of functional parts, at very low investment, have restriction in the building envelope of up to 96x54x150mm, but multiple molds ( up to 4 ) can be combined, increasing the building envelope by a factor 2-4. This is the track where we can combine the speed and flexibility of 3D printing in combination with the quality of injection molding.
Medium investment would allow for the manufacturing of parts of 250x250x250mm and increased investment would allow production of parts of up to ~1m in LxBxH.
How is it for gas permeability? Will it hold helium?
This depends on the choice of the polymer and fiber content ( carbon fiber ). Helium is a very small gas molecule, often used to mimic hydrogen permeation. This is typically much more difficult to contain vs methane, nitrogen, CO2, etc. as these are much larger molecules. Nevertheless, our materials are able to achieve a very small permeation rate. How low depends on the circumstances ( temperature, pressure ) and the requirements ( maximum permeation ).
Permeation = Diffusion x Solubility
Permeation depends on the temperature, pressure, wall thickness, amount of carbon fiber, and the choice of polymer material. Solubility mostly depends on the polarity of the polymer compound. We have no restrictions in choosing the right polymer for you. Diffusion depends on temperature, moisture level, wall thickness, amount of carbon fiber, and crystallinity of the polymer.
Are there any other limitations like temperature or load capacity?
A maximum temperature of around 290 to 330 degrees Celcius should be considered for short term ( Heat Deflection Temperature ).
Load capacity depends heavily on the freedom of design. In case there is high freedom of design, then most metals can be replaced.
Can I enter if I am not a company?
Yes! The prize includes support for commercialization if relevant.
About the sponsor:
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials is a leading global manufacturer of high-performance materials in the form of semi-finished products and finished parts. The company has locations in 20 countries and more than 2,800 employees. Its specialty engineering thermoplastics and composites are superior in performance to metals and other materials and are used in a wide range of applications, primarily in the capital goods industry. The company is continuously developing new areas of applications in close cooperation with industry leaders in a broad variety of customer markets. The Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials Group is well prepared to further expand its market leadership position.
Supporting the vision of our holding company, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation ( MCHC ), Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials is committed to the realization of KAITEKI, “a sustainable condition which is comfortable for people, society and the Earth”. To realize this vision, the MCHC Group engages in corporate activities that provide products, technologies and services based on the comprehensive capabilities of the Group in the Performance Products Domain, Industrial Materials Domain and Health Care Domain, with chemistry as the basis of our activities. We jointly express and promote our commitment under the corporate brand THE KAITEKI COMPANY.
- KyronMAX ChallengeThe Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials KyronMAX Challenge invites creatives to share designs that utilize KyronMAX's range of breakthrough, high strength carbon fiber-based composites to solve an engineering or manufacturing challenge. https://www.wevolver.com/article/mcam-challenge