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Workshop Held to Discuss Next Wave of Composites

21 December 2001

About 60 representatives from over 35 governmental and industrial organizations across the nation met in Tallahassee, Florida in December to discuss the future of the composite industry.

The Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering hosted the National Science Foundation Industry-University Corporative Research Center for Advanced Polymers and Composites.

Various research topics involving technology innovations in affordable composites were presented. Representatives learned about research underway at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, including various concepts being developed that will reduce cost and time-to-market for composite products, detect nondestructively fiber preform defects, and estimate costs at early stages of product design using virtual manufacturing software. Advances in resin transfer molding and vacuum assisted resin transfer molding processes were presented. New manufacturing and quality control tools for composite production were also discussed, including a prototype of a resin infusion with double flexible tooling machine. Other presentations included work at the college in developing the next generation of nanocomposites and efforts to improve acoustic attenuating composites.

Afterwards, breakout groups brainstormed additional matters that need to be addressed. Three groups looked at issues involving liquid composite molding, engineering support, and innovative materials and processes.

The workshop results will serve as the basis for the establishment of the first NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Affordable Composite Materials in Florida, which will be based at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

""This research center will not only benefit the College of Engineering, but those organizations who sign on as industry partners will play a major role in shaping the future of research and development in the growing composite industry,"" said Dr. Ben Wang, director of the Florida Advanced Center for Composites Technologies.





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