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Maximizing the Bio Content of Epoxy Resins for Use in Snowboards

ZILA Works, Renton Washington, United States
InnoCentrix, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, United States



The objective of the work was to demonstrate the feasibility of a novel bio-based epoxy resin system derived from hemp seed oil for use in fiber reinforced composites (in this case a full-scale snowboard). Hemp is a renewable resource that is being grown in multiple locations in the United States and Canada. The hemp crop is beneficial to farmers and is carbon sequestering, thus providing a positive environmental impact. The work focused on developing the synthetic pathway to make a bio-based epoxy from commercially available hemp seed oil. A novel bio-based epoxy was synthesized from hemp seed oil. A bio-based epoxy formulation was developed to meet the technical requirements for the ski and snowboard industry. The final epoxy formulation that had greater than 50% bio-epoxy content and was used to build actual snowboards in a full- scale manufacturing production facility. The bio-based epoxy snowboards passed industry accepted testing protocols. The paper will highlight the key aspects of the product development work, scale-up and the snowboard build.


Jeff Gotro, Ph.D., is the President and Founder of InnoCentrix, LLC.  InnoCentrix proves a wide range of consulting services to the polymer industry.  Jeff helps his clients “turn polymers into profits” with a focus on improving the financial performance by reducing the time to market for new products, process optimization, developing new business opportunities and managing Intellectual Property.  Jeff has over thirty two years’ of experience in polymers having held scientific and leadership positions at IBM, AlliedSignal, Honeywell International, National Starch Electronic Materials as VP of R&D (Ablestik Laboratories and Emerson and Cumming), and InnoCentrix. Jeff brings to his clients a solid proficiency in managing the research, development and commercialization of new products. He has consulting experience with over 40 clients ranging from early-stage start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. His unique combination of deep technical knowledge and business experience allow him to drive projects to commercial success.

Jeff holds 15 issued US Patents and has 4 patent applications currently filed and pending in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has published four book chapters includingThermosets with Dr. R Bruce Prime in Encyclopedia of Polymer Science & Technology, John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Jeff has published over 50 papers in technical journals and conference proceedings.  Jeff has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Northwestern University with a specialty in polymer science (polymer chemistry, physics, and characterization).


CONTACT: jgotro@innocentrix.com


Jeff Gotro / Ph.D. ZILA Works - CTO and Principal Investigator