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ACMA Pushes for Industry-Wide Composites Recycling

08 May 2018

On 12 April, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) concluded its first Composites Recycling Conference with nearly 90 industry professionals, leaders and experts from around the world.

The inaugural event, held in Knoxville, Tennessee, on 10-12 April 2018, focused on composites recycling and sustainability with networking, education and new technology and business developments to advance composites recycling in the composites manufacturing industry.

"The success of this important conference would not have been possible without the strong support of our industry," states ACMA President & CEO, Tom Dobbins. "ACMA recognises the importance of this issue for our members and the entire industry. Right now, our industry has a tremendous opportunity to reduce overall costs and better compete with traditional materials like steel and aluminium, and education is essential to have a full picture of what's happening in composites recycling today and a clear forecast for what's next."

The conference programme featured panel discussions and presentations from companies including Boeing, Owens Corning, the Composite Recycling Technology Centre, EuCIA, University of Tennessee - Knoxville, University of Strathclyde, Ashland, and ELG Carbon Fibre. Notable sessions focused on how recycled composites can be used to create products that have purpose and value. The programme addressed a range of topics, from recycling and reusing thermoplastic and thermoset CFRPs to state-of-the-art recycling technology.

Four companies exhibited their latest recycling technology and products.

"We were pleasantly surprised with the conference," states Jeff Austad of Ventilation Solutions, a conference exhibitor and sponsor. "It was very informative and had a good mix of customers, suppliers and academia ... we really wanted to understand more about composites recycling and what role we could play in the overall process."

Industry suppliers, distributors and manufacturers met with exhibitors, asked questions, and gained hands-on experience with recycled products during networking breaks.

Over 30 attendees toured three facilities: IACMI — The Composites Institute Lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, and Local Motors. The participants witnessed how government funded laboratories are addressing their unique challenges and making strides, including developing a robust and scalable composite recycling methodology as well as how a local manufacturer is creating products from recycled carbon fibre.





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