Composite Research

The Start-Up

The MadFlex has been conceived as a substitute for traditionally used materials (e.g. aluminium, plastic, PVC, other composites), providing an improvement in terms of weight reduction, environmental impact, increased energy efficiency and impact resistance. Thanks to its unique mechanical properties, the MadFlex also allows creating foldable elements without heavy metal hinges and self-supporting structures that do not require the use of ropes and ad hoc structures. Depending on the application to be developed, CoRe can choose the best combination of materials to create the panel, customizing weights, thicknesses, mechanical properties and aesthetic finishes.

CoRe’s founders found themselves in the need to use a material with the characteristics of the MadFlex towards the end of 2013, during an R&D activity on an innovative solution to be applied to large alternative energy production systems. By analysing the products on the market, they noted that existing solutions were problematic in terms of weight, transport, production pollution and low resistance to atmospheric agents and to the most difficult climatic conditions; at the same time, all that was presented as innovation, showed engineering and aerodynamic limits. The considerations that followed led to the creation of a completely new component that could bend, while maintaining the shape beyond a certain point, simplifying production processes (a single piece and not composed of several parts), drastically reducing weights and bulk and favouring portability.

After a preliminary research phase, the two patent inventors came to the creation of the first MadFlex prototype in 2014. Understood the enormous potential of their material, they decided to file a patent application in early 2015 and to establish a company, Composite Research (CoRe), to promote applications in MadFlex. Having no prior experience in business management, they decided to involve two professionals coming from the financial and commercial sector, forming a balanced board of directors. Since its founding, CoRe has achieved several successes both in the technical and commercial fields. From the first prototype, the team has been able to optimize the material, creating over ten standardized variants, with an 80% reduction in the raw material costs and a significant increase in the mechanical performances (over 100,000 bending cycles preserving 2/3 of its flexural capacity). Thanks to an agreement with the Chemistry faculty of the University of Turin, the team was able to perform tests on the MadFlex, investigating its mechanical properties, UV resistance, marine environment and aging. The collected results have been more than promising, confirming the applicability of MadFlex even in areas that require very high standards, such as automotive and aerospace. At present, the MadFlex is a TRL 6 technology.

Along with the optimization of the technology, CoRe's team has begun to address to the industrial world, with the dual aim of gathering information to improve the MadFlex and to establish collaboration agreements. Thanks to these meetings, some application prototypes were created, based on the demands of potential customers. These include an innovative seat for wheelchairs and a covering for mobile structures, which will shortly be tested on the field for validation. In its work, the CoRe team has also been able to involve two minority shareholders, a university professor of chemistry and the founder of a leading Italian medical company, who, in addition to their financial contribution, makes their contacts available to the company and thus enable them to know primary companies in areas of interest to society.