Knoxville, Tenn., March 12, 2019 – IACMI-The Composites Institute, a 160+ member consortium committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the U.S., has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and composites industry leaders to develop an innovative snowboard prototype utilizing novel technologies engineered in Tennessee. The prototype and mold will be on display in Paris, France at JEC World, March 12-14, 2019 at the Magnum Venus Products (MVP) booth V42, Hall 5. Learn more about the project during a conference presentation on Tuesday, March 12 at in Forum S86, Hall 6.

The snowboard prototype is the first part developed from a large-scale 3D printed thermoset mold. The world’s first large-scale thermoset 3D printer was developed by Magnum Venus Products (MVP) in collaboration with ORNL and installed at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL in the spring of 2018. Until recently, it was virtually impossible to 3D print thermosets on a large scale, but this latest development has enabled new possibilities in performance and integrity of printed components.

The Composites Institute assembled a reputable group of members and partners, including MVP, ORNL, Chomarat, Polynt, and Composites One, to provide materials, services, and expertise in order to execute the project. A team of IACMI interns from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) played a critical role in the design, building, and testing of the prototype with support from industry partners.  The graduate students gained experience with project management and knowledge about the characteristics of different materials through the hands-on molding process. “As a graduate student finishing my doctorate, this collaboration provided an excellent real-world experience working with industry and an opportunity to be a part of the exciting research happening in the composites space,” said Dylan Talley, IACMI intern and graduate research assistant at UT. Talley is one of over 40 students and staff at the UT Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) benefitting from educational research projects led by Dr. Uday Vaidya, IACMI’s Chief Technology Officer and UT/ORNL Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing. The FCMF is also home to active SAMPE and SPE student chapters whose members contributed to the project led by Talley and UT/ORNL Bredesen Graduate Fellow, Alex Stiles.

Why make a snowboard? Building upon the key learnings of last year’s composite snow sled project, students selected another relatable consumer product to conduct research; a common past time for many and one which would demonstrate the advantage of the 3D printed thermoset mold to allow more flexibility in material selection. There is new heightened interest in 3D printing for the composites industry, with additive printing for molds and tool building proving to be one of the fastest growing segments. Printing molds with thermoset materials is particularly appealing as it enables manufacturers to customize durable molds to withstand high temperature processing and repeated use, breaking limitations of traditional methods and providing freedom to innovate the next big idea.

Tennessee has become a hotbed for composites innovation, inspiring increased industry presence in the state for more convenient access to research and development assets of the region. “This prototype, made and tested in Tennessee while utilizing IACMI’s national ecosystem of partners, is a perfect example of IACMI’s impact to the advanced manufacturing industry in our state,” said Chassen Haynes, director of business development for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. 

About IACMI-The Composites Institute (Booth R51, Hall 6):

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (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 innovative research and development in the advanced composites field. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national Manufacturing USA institute is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, and over $180 million committed from IACMI’s partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit https://science.energy.gov. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) supports early-stage research at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.

About Magnum Venus Products (Booth V42, Hall 5):

Magnum Venus Products (MVP) is the premiere manufacturer of composite application equipment. MVP makes pumping systems, spray guns, filament winding systems, and much more. MVP serves manufacturers in industries including automotive, aerospace, transportation, marine, railway, oil and gas, and wind energy. Along with systems designed for composite application, MVP also has equipment that supports the foam and polyurethane industries including poly-ureas, adhesives, and epoxies. Magnum Venus Products has over 60 years of experience delivering highly-customized solutions to its customers. Learn more at mvpind.com.