Covaron Advanced Materials Secures Seed-Round Funding
The Ann Arbor, MI-based startup Covaron Advanced Materials, formerly known as Kymeira Advanced Materials, has secured $300,000 in seed funding from four investors: Houston’s Mercury Fund; Two Seven Ventures in Aspen, CO; Huron River Ventures in Ann Arbor; and the Detroit-based First Step Fund.
Dave Hatfield, Covaron’s co-founder and CEO, says the company has created a patent-pending technology called Petraforge, a thermosetting material that can provide advanced physical properties comparable to advanced ceramics but more durable, relatively low cost, and able to utilize raw materials from industrial waste. Covaron mixes a powder made up of inorganic compounds and low-cost fibers with liquid reactants to create Petraforge.
“We mix the parts together to get a chemical reaction with a very low cure temperature and no shrinkage,” Hatfield explains. “Now we can make parts with physical properties similar to advanced ceramics. It’s very heat resistant, extremely corrosion resistant, and has strength/weight ratios similar to aluminum.”
Hatfield says Covaron intends to disrupt the way patterns for sand casting and injection molding are made, and with 50 percent of that industry located in the Great Lakes region, the company is well-positioned to take a crack at it. With Petraforge, one can pour and cast tools rather than machine them, which is costly, Hatfield adds.
Hatfield says much of the research behind Covaron was done in Midland, MI—home of Dow Corning, one of the world leaders in creating innovative materials. The company expects to begin raising a Series A round before the year is over.