Hemp Product Pioneer
After winning a micro grant last summer from NC
IDEA, Kyle Trivisonno participates in NC IDEA
LABS and conducts research and development at NC
State University. He says hemp fiber stands as a viable
alternative to synthetic materials.
As an American Board Certified Prosthetic
Technician, Trivisonno designs and produces pros-thesis
limbs constructed from textiles woven from
hemp yarns at his start-up company, ekoTEKindus-tries.
What he describes as super-strong and ultra-light,
hemp possesses a modulus (flexural or impact
strength) that is ten times stronger than carbon fiber.
“Natural fiber is inexpensive and when it’s lami-nated
properly it creates a high tensile strength (ten-sion
resistance) material,” he says. In his process,
Trivisonno uses resin to reinforce the prostheses, cre-ating
strong yet dynamic devices.
“Inert materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber will
fail if they are hit hard enough,” he says, often result-ing
in “spiderweb cracks in the lamination that will
allow in moisture, leading to failure.” Thus far, his
hemp prototypes have shown remarkable resilience
With a patent-pending marked for medical devices,
Trivisonno has developed prototypes for use in the
Right, in his workshop, Kyle Trivisonno laminates a
below-knee prosthetic socket as seen, below left,
on local athlete Marc Dunshee. Bottom right, hemp
laminating material and hemp fiber harvested in
Yadkinville, NC. Background image: hemp cloth.
ALLISON POTTER ALLISON POTTER