Tennessee is the Site for the IACMI

20 Jan, 2015

The University of Tennessee will lead the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI, a $259 million public-private partnership. The Institute reflects a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and $189 million from IACMI’s partners.

The announcement was made in early January by President by Barack Obama.

The institute will focus on advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites that combine strong fibers with tough plastics to yield materials that are lighter and stronger than steel.

While advanced composites are used in selected industries such as aircraft, military vehicles, satellites, and luxury cars, these materials remain expensive, require large amounts of energy to manufacture, and are difficult to recycle. IACMI aims to overcome these barriers by developing low-cost, high-production, energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for the composites sector.

IACMI includes founding partners in Tennessee (University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Colorado (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Indiana (Purdue University), Michigan (Michigan State University), Ohio (University of Dayton Research Institute), and Kentucky (University of Kentucky).

The institute has received commitments from large charter corporate contributors such as those with critical connection to the automotive composites supply chain like Ford, Volkswagen, Dow Chemical Co., and DowAksa; premium members with national manufacturing impact like Boeing and Lockheed Martin; and small and medium enterprises like Strongwell Corp., the world’s leading pultrusion company, and Local Motors, the world’s leading 3-D-printed car company, which are both innovation drivers and local to east Tennessee. More than 90 companies across the supply chain support the project.

Image: US.DOE Vehicle Technologies Program, photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Source: Press materials