About this project
Denimite is made of recycled denim scraps combined with a partial bio-based thermoset resin binder under high pressure and heat and resembles a Sodalite Gemstone.
Denim is the quintessential American product.
All of our materials are sourced in the USA and produced in Lincoln, Nebraska.
This material is pressed in sheets for secondary processing (cutting, gluing, sanding, etc) or pressed in custom molds for "near net' parts. Near net means that products are made into nearly the final shape with very little waste. The downside of near net molding is that each product must have an expensive custom two-piece die made. Our first goal for this product is production in standard sheet format for use as countertops and architectural elements. This method utilizes large amounts of raw material to allow us to get the economies of scale working in our favor. Later we will further develop our own near net molding capabilities. We are diligently working towards this Near Net production to realize the benefits of less waste, efficient production, lower cost per unit, ability for more complex designs, and increased strength. Because of Denimite's incredible properties of strength, ease of machining and light weight, the material has many applications, a select few of which are demonstrated in this Kickstarter campaign.
- Made from recycled denim scrap and a zero VOC resin.
- Water impervious, no sealing required
- Because the fibers are not woven (like carbon fiber), but intertwined randomly, the material has strength in all directions.
- Denimite can be fabricated and cut with standard wood-working tools, and sanded or buffed to desired finish.
- Standard sheet thicknesses of 1/2", 3/4", and 1"
- Even thin parts of -1/8" material are very strong - as shown by our Reward products!
- Light weight andstrong.
- By varying the amount of pressure in the press, we can specify the density and strength characteristics throughout a custom part.
- The recycled denim fibers are a mix of long and short, coarse and fine fibers, as well as threads and intact pieces of woven textile material. This aids in the "mold-ability" of the material, and gives it a unique random visual texture.
- Potential uses include: countertops and transaction areas, architectural - decorative panel use, furniture, and consumer products. Near net mold pressed for automotive and consumer product markets.
- Each sheet of Denimite is unique - with an overall blue tone.
- Because of the recycled nature of the material, there may be threads of other colors visible! This is not a "flaw" - it adds character and makes people wonder how you got so cool.
- Our raw material is from Bonded Logic - a worldwide leader in sustainable insulation manufacturing.
- Our eco-friendly resin comes from Entropy Resins
- Made in the USA
Funding through this campaign will allow us to construct a new custom press and purchase the necessary equipment to move this to a larger scale, as well as build molds for our smaller items. Right now our sample press allows us to only produce pieces that are up to 16" x 16". The new press will take us to pilot-scale commercial production, with a finished slab size of 30" x 120". The Near Net products will help us establish best practices for future production.
We all know how severe the environmental challenges we face are, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. We view these challenges as wonderful and amazing opportunities. Every age through the millenia has been defined by a material; stone, bronze, iron, plastic, etc. We believe the new age will be the age of composites. Nature did it first with composites like wood, bone and shell. This is the genesis of a new age of learning from nature and exploring new bio-composites that will replace less efficient materials. We are excited to discover, experiment with, and develop these alternative materials for surprising and useful new composites.
Our goal is to produce sustainable composites, and Denimite is the first of a new line of materials. See Iris Industries website for more information on our other prototypes: www.iris-industries.com.
- The average person in the US throws away 68 pounds of clothing and textiles a year.
- About 2.5 billion yards of denim is produced every year all around the world.
- Approximately 1600 pieces of denim will divert 1 ton of waste from the landfill, when recycled.
Denim can be recycled into insulation - both thermal and acoustic, yarn, pencils, and even into paper. There are a million crafty (though not very tasteful) ways to recycle denim as well.
Denimite is an entirely new product, and we need to show what can be done with it. Laboratory testing can only tell us so much. Showing its strength and versatility in these Rewards will help us test the daily use of this new material. YOU become our testers by logging thousands of hours of use in the real world, and providing useful feedback for future product development.
After testing several "holding" methods, it seemed that simple is better. Both Wallets have a stretchy band to hold your goods in place, cut from a bicycle inner tube (see the final picture). Our white prototype was from the broccoli in our fridge - we are really high tech that way, and it WAS a prototype. Replacement bands available at your local grocery store, attached to broccoli and asparagus in the produce department, or from your local bike shop (you might have to supply your own scissors).
Our Limited Edition Denimite Wallet is a compression molded, near net one-piece seamless wallet, with a recycled bike inner tube band to hold in cash and cards. The handy tab at the top makes it easy to remove what you need. Each of the 50 available wallets will be engraved with it's production number. This version will ship in February.
Our Denimite Simple Wallet - with a limited quantity available to ship by Xmas, will be constructed with a tried and true laminated method. It will have the same handy tab and recycled inner tube holder.
Prototypes and Processes:
We have produced several types of manufactured sheet goods- and this process is similar to what we have done before. Heat and pressure, along with the correct ratio of ingredients make a super-strong, durable sheet material. Here are a few images of our process and the prototypes we've worked on.
Our prototyping involved several steps:
- Routing out a solid piece for the wallets
- Built-up edge with separate pieces (laminated just like wood)
- Near Net Molded forms
The Limited Edition Wallets will be using this molded method, but the production version Denimite Wallets with the by Xmas delivery date will have the built-up method. Both are super strong, exceptionally cool, and will serve you well.
Denimite vs. 161 lb. Anvil - - DENIMITE WINS!!!!
Great article from CROWDLIFTED:
Risks and challenges
Our many years of experience in the green building industry, coupled with our proven history of taking new and innovative products to market will allow us to handle any obstacles that arise.
Right now we rely on local subcontractors and suppliers - which also means that we rely on their timelines. This funding will allow us to bring our full scale production capabilities in-house, where we will have more control over output and production scheduling.
We are already working on faster and more efficient ways of producing end goods, like the rings and wallets, and this will carry over to our product line after funding occurs. Because of the current handmade nature of our small goods, we are limiting the number available and leaving enough time for our current level of production to accommodate all orders.
Sourcing of the raw material is plentiful and easy to obtain, though because of the recycled nature of the product, there will be some variation in color from piece to piece, and sheet to sheet. This is the natural variation inherent in any recycled feedstock, and we love the uniqueness of each sheet.
We do have a number of rewards that will deliver before Xmas, which is a tight timeline, but these are products we will be producing through the campaign, as we will be offering these products for sale, whether the campaign is funded or not. We have limited the quantity on these rewards to insure that we can meet this deadline!
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