Last month, several members of the IACMI team traveled to Dallas alongside hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of industry professionals for the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX). Bigger than ever before, CAMX provided the opportunity for IACMI to present latest developments in composite manufacturing innovation from its team of technical experts, partners, and industry leaders.

Throughout the three-day conference, IACMI technical leaders presented in more than 10 sessions and engaged in conversations with hundreds of attendees on the exhibit floor and in the IACMI booth. Notably, IACMI chief technology officer, Uday Vaidya, and chief commercialization officer, Dale Brosius, led a session presenting a comprehensive overview of IACMI capabilities within its shared research and development facilities located throughout the country. Expanding on the topic, multiple technical project partners presented including Vartega CEO, Andrew Maxey, reporting on its project aimed at closing the loop on carbon fiber prepreg scrap and incorporating recycled carbon fiber into thermoplastics for new automotive parts to enable vehicle weight reductions. N12 Technologies engineer, Mackenzie Devoe, also presented in this session on its project scaling nano-additive manufacturing.

Earlier in the week, IACMI partners and researchers presented their work on life cycle assessment methodologies determining the characteristics of recycled composites with the assistance of IACMI interns at the Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). This industry-leading research led by Komal Kooduvalli, a research supervisor at UTK and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), revealed more about the decomposition of composites produced through various manufacturing methods. As the future of sustainability reporting is increasingly in higher demand, the research group was recognized with the CAMX 2018 “Best in Track: Green & Sustainability” Outstanding Technical Paper Award.

Other IACMI sessions at CAMX included a technology roadmapping report out from Uday Vaidya, and presentations from John Unser, IACMI technology impact manager, on industry engagement, strategy, and case studies.

IACMI supports the development of a trained workforce to support the growing industry in composites manufacturing. The partnership between the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA) and IACMI recognizes the importance of long-term collaboration with mutually-beneficial strategic partnerships to impact relevant industry drivers such as workforce maturity, education, and technical innovation.

Building off this collaboration, IACMI, in partnership with Composites One and the Closed Mold Alliance, announced it will continue to hold workshops to further develop participants’ skills with closed molding and pultrusion processes, to name a few. IACMI chief operating officer, Robin Pate, announced in the Composites One demonstration zone, “Through this partnership, we have collectively helped train over 2,000 people, representing several hundred companies, in nearly all 50 states.” The upcoming 2019 dates and locations include:

  • Week of March 18 | National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Boulder, CO
  • Week of June 10 | Composite Prototyping Center (CPC), New York, NY
  • Week of August 19 | Greenville Tech, Greenville, SC
  • Week of November 4 | Davis Technical College, Salt Lake City, UT

Continuing the workforce development effort, Abaris and IACMI announced an agreement to provide Abaris training opportunities at IACMI locations across the nation. Trainings span a variety of topics, such as manufacturing best practices, mold fabrication, resin infusion, adhesive bonding, non-destructive inspection, and structural repair. “The IACMI Abaris partnership is fundamental, not only to providing necessary skills to create jobs and economic growth but to also validate and enable private industry innovation”, said IACMI Workforce Manager, Joannie Harmon Heath.

Invited speakers included Tesla and SpaceX Vice President of Materials Engineering, Dr. Kuehmann, who emphasized the significance of composites and additive materials as the foundation of future vehicle and aerospace manufacturing. What IACMI learns from pursuing research and development in a wide-range of manufacturing capacities, its partners are able apply to industry innovation.

About CAMX

October 19, 2018 (Dallas) CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, in its fourth year, is growing and expanding. Held in Dallas, Texas, CAMX is North America’s go-to composites event for products, solutions, networking and advanced industry thinking. The conference unites all aspects of the world’s composites and advanced materials communities.