The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, a national institute led by The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announces a new project to develop materials including reinforcements with advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing. Committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the U.S. composites industry, IACMI's integration of large-scale additive manufacturing and composite materials for vehicle applications will challenge existing designs and define new components to meet longevity and crash performance requirements.
In partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Local Motors, the project will demonstrate an integrated design and materials selection, together with a novel, low-cost reinforcing technique used to optimize parts for a vehicle application. The joint effort to develop materials and reinforcements for advanced composites using large-scale additive manufacturing will be performed at DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. Additionally, the outcomes from the outlined project will enable creation of multiple U.S. facilities that can produce cars with a substantial advanced composite make-up. Projections include new facilities, new high-skilled jobs in 2017, and complementary impact across a broad range of manufacturing sectors leading to a 50% reduction in design-to-manufacturing cycle time. "The integration of design within the materials selection and manufacture process optimizes vehicle production by reducing cycle time," said Gregory Haye, Local Motors General Manager. "The partnership with IACMI-The Composites Institute and its vast group of partners provides access to unique research and development capabilities, ultimately resulting in a more efficient manufacture process for our organization."
Bryan Dods, IACMI-The Composites Institute CEO agrees, "The Composites Institute's impact is larger than the project research and development work taking place at our facilities. Collaboration amongst IACMI members spans the entire industry supply chain from material suppliers, BASF and TechmerPM, to design and manufacturing with Local Motors. Commercialization of new innovations is resulting in the creation of new jobs, expansion of manufacturing facilities and an overall economic development impact benefitting the entire ecosystem of composites manufacturers."