Helicoid Industries Inc. Announced as Ray of Hope Prize® Finalist

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The Helicoid® architecture for composites will disrupt the market by enhancing performance of all parts designed for toughness and impact resistance while enabling a reduction of raw material consumption and weight.

Helicoid Industries Inc. is proud to announce being recognized as one of nine finalists in the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize® competition presented by the Biomimicry Institute. The Helicoid® architecture prevents cracks in materials from expanding, which minimizes damage propagation, and ultimately dissipates significant amounts of energy from pressure strikes to avoid diminishing the materials strength and durability.

Millions of years ago, the "smasher" Mantis shrimp, one of nature's feistiest predators, evolved an internal architecture to protect the hammer-like club it uses to pulverize prey with incredible speed and force. The unique architecture, called a Helicoid®, protects the Mantis shrimp from self-inflicted damage as it crushes hard-shelled prey. Biomimicry researchers at the UC Riverside campus spent over 11 years reverse engineering the club and discovered that it is not the material, but the structure that provides the strength and toughness.

When the Helicoid® architecture is applied to any composite material or product that is currently made with traditional fiber alignment, the Helicoid® will provide numerous benefits including; reduced material weight, increased impact strength, fracture toughness, as well as reduced material costs and waste during manufacturing with Automated Fiber Placement.

"Helicoid Industries has the potential to radically disrupt the composite material market,” said Jared Yarnall-Schane, Entrepreneurship Director, Biomimicry Institute. “By emulating the architecture that gives the Mantis shrimp incredibly strong clubs, Helicoid has unlocked a multitude of new applications and energy savings.”

Helicoid Industries strives to help deliver value-added products that manufacturers and consumers demand, but with less negative impact on the environment. Material efficiency means producing the same end result with reduced amounts of raw materials. This applies particularly to composite manufacturers utilizing the Helicoid® architecture. Material efficiency focuses on reducing the amount of virgin natural resources required to produce a certain level of output and then recycling post-consumption waste material back into the manufacturing process.

“I am most excited by their ability to create stronger and lighter-weight composites, with the possibility of increasing the energy output of wind turbines or contribute to weight savings in electric vehicles,” added Yarnall-Schane.

Out of 190 applications, spanning 42 countries, Helicoid Industries Inc. has been recognized as one of the nine companies selected for the $100,000 prize, which is intended to help the winning company accelerate their path to commercial success. The Biomimicry Institute’s expert selection committee will decide which nature-inspired startup will take home the prize in the fall of 2020.

“We have disruptive technology that is broadly patented and ready to commercialize which will improve the overall value proposition and reduce waste within the composite industry,” said Helicoid Industries CEO Chad Wasilenkoff. “Utilization of this bio-inspired technology will enable composites to be lighter weight, more impact-resistant, more durable, and to be manufactured at a lower overall cost. Applying this new architecture in composite materials, especially those with natural fibers and bio-polymers, will further enhance and improve an already well-established composite industry and bring it more in line with sustainability initiatives.”

Helicoid Industries is committed to developing solutions that will improve the well-being and comfort of people, while reducing the socio-environmental impacts of composite products from their initial manufacturing to their disposal.

To learn more about Helicoid Industries Inc., visit helicoidind.com. For more information about the Biomimicry Institute and Ray of Hope Prize, visit biomimicry.org.

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ABOUT HELICOID INDUSTRIES
Helicoid Industries is a California start-up established in 2019 embarking on the commercialization of their core Helicoid® technology and will target key manufacturers in the wind turbine, aerospace, sporting goods, automotive, defense and consumer products markets. The company is finalizing a $5 million seed round financing for future prototype manufacturing and additional biomimicry research initiatives.

ABOUT THE BIOMIMICRY INSTITUTE
The Biomimicry Institute is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 2006 that empowers people to seek nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet. To advance the solution process, the Institute offers AskNature.org, a free online tool that contains strategies found in nature and examples of ways they are used in design. It also hosts a Biomimicry Global Design Challenge and Youth Design Challenge to support project-based education; a Biomimicry Launchpad program and Ray of Hope Prize® for entrepreneurship to bring designs to market; and connects innovators through the Global Biomimicry Network.

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Anita Beishuizen

Anita Beishuizen
@HelicoidInc
since: 05/2020
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