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The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is a public-private partnership creating clean energy solutions and catalyzing manufacturing competitiveness across the U.S. advanced composite ecosystem.
This partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories and federal, state and local governments is sharing resources and co-investing in innovative research to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced fiber reinforced polymer composites. The Institute works to develop new low-cost, high-speed, and efficient manufacturing and recycling process technologies and train the next generation composite workforce. The national institute, which is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and its partners. IACMI is operated by Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS Corp.) a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and governed by a board of directors.
IACMI’s world-class team of leading industrial manufacturers, material suppliers, software developers, government researchers, and academics will focus on lowering the cost of advanced composites by 50 percent, reducing the energy used to make composites by 75 percent, and increasing the ability to recycle composites by more than 95 percent within the next decade.
Through Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, the Energy Department is driving down the cost of energy efficient materials and technologies, making them cost competitive for manufacturing in the U.S. The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Institutes are partnerships with the private sector to boost advanced manufacturing, strengthen our capabilities for defense, and attract the types of high-quality jobs that a growing middle class requires. Learn more at manufacturing.gov.
Impact and goals
As the institute works toward its five- and 10-year technical goals it is anticipated that there will be other benefits to society and the economy. IACMI projects will result in enhanced energy productivity, reduced lifecycle energy consumption, increased domestic production capacity, job growth and economic development. The institute’s technical goals for five/10 years are to demonstrate:
- 25/50% lower carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) manufactured cost
- 50/75% reduction in CFRP embodied energy
- 80/95% composite recycling into useful products
- Materials with energy and cost of glass with carbon fiber composite performance
IACMI has a network of resources to enable industry-driven R&D from laboratory to full-scale demonstration that aligns with a technology roadmap that will achieve the objectives of the Institute.
IACMI issues call for proposals from its membership to identify and prioritize resources to solve technical challenges that can lead to commercialization opportunities.
IACMI has mechanisms for short-term projects with industry (Technical Collaborations), longer-term collaborative R&D efforts with large potential impacts (Enterprise Projects) as well as the ability to address challenges that will benefit the entire composites community (Topic Specific Projects).
There are four levels of membership (Consortium, Resource, Premium, and Charter) with increasing levels of involvement and benefits. Consortium memberships are $5,000k per year for small and medium-sized companies, government and not-for-profit organizations and $10,000 per year for large companies.
Applications for Advanced Composites
Advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics, are lighter and stronger than steel. While advanced composites are currently used for select purposes, such as aircraft, military vehicles, satellites, and luxury cars, at a lower cost, these materials could help manufacturers deliver more advanced and more affordable products such as:
- Lightweight vehicles with record-breaking fuel economy
- Lighter and longer wind turbine blades
- High pressure tanks for natural gas-fueled cars
Lightweighting is directly tied to energy efficiency. With just a 10 percent weight reduction, fuel efficiency rises by 6-8 percent for internal combustion engine vehicles. For battery-electric vehicles, that 10 percent weight reduction increases vehicular range by 10 percent.
In automotive applications, advanced composites could reduce the weight of a passenger car by 50 percent and improve its fuel efficiency by about 35 percent without compromising performance or safety – helping to save American families thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the car’s lifetime.
In the wind energy industry, advances in low-cost composite materials will help manufacturers build longer, lighter, and stronger blades to create more energy. In fact, doubling the length of a turbine blade can quadruple the amount of electricity generated.
To learn more about Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites, click on our IACMI Fact Sheet.
To learn more about IACMI Membership opportunities, visit IACMI’s website.
The initial team covered 34 states, including 122 companies, nonprofits, universities, and research laboratories who are partnering with the federal government to create a manufacturing hub focused on U.S. leadership in next-generation materials.