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Oak Ridge Establish Carbon Fibre Composites Consortium

25 July 2011

Fourteen companies have agreed to join with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to establish the Oak Ridge Carbon Fibre Composites Consortium.

Oak Ridge has established the consortium to work towards accelerating the development, demonstration and commercial application of new low-cost carbon fibre and composite 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 fibre-reinforced composite materials. For the past decade ORNL has led the Department of Energy's low-cost carbon fibre initiative. ORNL is designing and constructing the Carbon Fibre Technology Facility, a $35 million pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons of new low-cost carbon fibres from several different precursors.

Oak Ridge explain that consortium members will convene twice annually for briefings on ORNL's research, development and demonstration efforts in carbon fibre composites, and to provide critical insights into market trends and opportunities. They say the market for carbon fibre 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 fibre composites program,"" said ORNL Director Thom Mason. ""Our ultimate goal is to help businesses develop new commercial applications of low-cost carbon fibres and composites that will help our country address our goal of energy independence.""






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