Volkswagen, Ford, BASF, Dow Chemical and General Electric are among the 57 companies participating in the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a public-private partnership aimed at creating jobs and boosting manufacturing within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries.
The new Institute, announced by President Obama on Friday, 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.
The 57 companies involved are: A&P Technology, Adherent Technologies, Altair, Ashland Performance Materials, Assembly Guidance Systems, BASF, Boeing, Celanese International, Continental Structural Plastics, Convergent Manufacturing Technologies, Cytec Engineered Materials, Dassault Systemes Americas, Dow Chemical, DowAksa, DuPont, ESI North America, Evonik, Faurecia US Holdings, Fives, Ford, GE Water & Power, Graco, GrafTech International, Heil Trailer International, Herty Advanced Materials Development Center, Hills, Honda R&D Americas, Huntsman Polyurethanes, IN3 Applications, Johns Manville, LayStitch Technologies, LM Wind Power, Local Motors, Lockheed Martin, Materials Innovation Technologies, McWhinney Real Estate Services, Michelman, Milacron Plastics Technologies Group, Momentive, North Coast Tool & Mold, Owens Corning, Phoenix Integration, PolyNEW, PolyOne, PPG Industries, SABIC Innovative Plastics US, SAERTEX USA, Strongwell, Thogus Products, Toray Composites (America), TPI Composites, Vestas Americas, Volkswagen, Wetzel Engineering, Williams White & Company and Xperion.
While advanced composites are used in selective industries such as aircraft, satellites and cars, these materials remain expensive, require large amounts of energy to manufacture and are difficult to recycle. IACMI is dedicated to overcoming these barriers by developing low-cost, high-production, energy-efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for composites applications.
IACMI is the fifth named Institute and a step toward fulfilling the president’s vision of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
The DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute’s award is supported by a $70 million federal commitment over five years combined with an equal or greater amount in non-federal resources.
The 122-member team is led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 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 six partner states and members have committed to $189 million in additional contributions to the Institute.
Last month Obama announced the US will invest more than $290 million in public-private funding for two new Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions, one in smart manufacturing at the Department of Energy and one in flexible hybrid electronics at the Department of Defense, President Obama announced late last week.