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31st March 2017, Knoxville, TN

IACMI sets focus on material development and job creation

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation – IACMI-The Composites Institute, a national institute led by The University of Tennessee, and US Department of Energy (DOE), have announced a new project to develop materials including reinforcements with advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing.

Committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the US composites industry, IACMI’s integration of large-scale additive manufacturing and composite materials for vehicle applications will challenge existing designs and define new components to meet longevity and crash performance requirements, the Institute reports.

Joint effort

In partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Local Motors, a technology company that designs, builds and sells vehicles by combining co-creation with local micro-manufacturing, the project will demonstrate an integrated design and materials selection, together with a novel, low-cost reinforcing technique used to optimise parts for vehicle application.

Integration of large-scale additive manufacturing and composite materials for vehicle applications will challenge existing designs and define new components to meet longevity and crash performance requirements. © IACMI

The joint effort to develop materials and reinforcements for advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing will be performed at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. Additionally, the outcomes from the outlined project will enable creation of multiple US facilities that can produce cars with a substantial advanced composite make-up, according to IACMI.

Expansion of manufacturing facilities

Projections include new facilities, new high-skilled jobs in 2017, and complementary impact across a broad range of manufacturing sectors leading to a 50% reduction in design-to-manufacturing cycle time.

“The integration of design within the materials selection and manufacture process optimises vehicle production by reducing cycle time,” said Gregory Haye, Local Motors General Manager. “The partnership with IACMI-The Composites Institute and its vast group of partners provides access to unique research and development capabilities, ultimately resulting in a more efficient manufacture process for our organisation.”

Benefiting composites manufacturers

“The Composites Institute’s impact is larger than the project research and development work taking place at our facilities. Collaboration amongst IACMI members spans the entire industry supply chain from material suppliers, BASF and Techmer PM, to design and manufacturing with Local Motors,” commented Bryan Dods, IACMI-The Composites Institute CEO.

“Commercialisation of new innovations is resulting in the creation of new jobs, expansion of manufacturing facilities and an overall economic development impact benefitting the entire ecosystem of composites manufacturers.”

IACMI, managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites.

www.iacmi.org

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