Oak Ridge establishes carbon fiber composites consortium

July 19th, 2011
Fourteen companies have agreed to join with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to establish the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium, which will work to accelerate the development, demonstration and commercial application of new low-cost carbon fiber and composites materials in many different industry sectors.

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, Innovation Valley and UT-Battelle, the managing contractor for ORNL.

ORNL has a 40-year history in research, development, demonstration and deployment of fiber-reinforced composite materials. For the past decade ORNL has led the Department of Energy's low-cost carbon fiber initiative. ORNL is designing and constructing the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, a $35 million pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons of new low-cost carbon fibers from several different precursors.

Consortium members will convene twice annually for briefings on ORNL's research, development and demonstration efforts in carbon fiber composites, and to provide critical insights into market trends and opportunities. The market for carbon fiber composites is expected to grow significantly over the next several years, especially in key markets such as automotive, wind energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and various industrial applications.

"Engaging industrial partners all along the value chain is a critically important aspect of ORNL's carbon fiber composites program," said ORNL Director Thom Mason. "Our ultimate goal is to help businesses develop new commercial applications of low-cost carbon fibers and composites that will help our country address our goal of energy independence."

Provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

NASA Webb's heart survives deep freeze test

After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, ...

Big black holes can block new stars

Massive black holes spewing out radio-frequency-emitting particles at near-light speed can block formation of new stars in aging galaxies, a study has found.