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Companies Join National Lab in Composites Consortium

Carbon fibers (Oak Ridge National Lab)

(Oak Ridge National Lab)

Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, has established a consortium with 14 companies to promote the development and commercialization of carbon fiber and composites materials. The Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium will hold its first meeting in September.

Oak Ridge Lab has been involved in composite materials research for 40 years. Carbon fiber composites have a number of industrial applications, including automotive parts, aerospace, wind and alternative energy, oil and off-shore drilling, construction, and infrastructure. The market for carbon fiber composites is expected to grow significantly over the next several years.

Charter members of the consortium include Dow Chemical Company, 3M Company, Faurecia, Toho Tenax America, Plasan Carbon Composites, Composite Applications Group, Umeco Composites Structural Materials, Graftech International, United Technologies Research Center, Harper International, Hills Material and Chemistry Laboratory, SSOE Group, and Innovation Valley. Also a member is UT-Battelle, the lab’s managing contractor.

The lab recently received a $35 million grant from Department of Energy to design, construct, and operate the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility. That facility is expected to include a pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons per year of new carbon fiber materials from several source products.

Read more: Process Devised for Custom-Made Composite Materials

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