If you know anything about composite materials and their use, you know that these materials are used for a variety of purposes that are designed to make our lives easier with more effective products and systems. But aside from the normal composites that are geared towards making products that are lightweight and sturdier, did you know that advanced composites do so much more than what you might of thought? First we need to figure out exactly what advanced composites are to honestly appreciate all they do for us.
Carbon fiber is an advanced composite that has been found to be up to three times as strong and two times lighter than the lightest metals found in the world. The use of advanced composites is often found in lightweight vehicles that we use in our everyday life. Due to the lightweight nature of these vehicles, they burn less fuel and are capable of carrying high pressure tanks essential for natural gas fueled cars. So, while advanced composites have definitely help in clean energy development, there is more to do to accomplish long term goals with advanced composites and clean energy.
Earlier in 2015 the US President Obama put into effect a new hub designed to further the advancements of clean energy technology by creating the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. The purpose of this new hub is to develop lower cost high speed efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for advanced composites. So, how does all this work in the drive for cleaner energy technology? It’s really fairly simple. By reducing costs associated with manufacturing and recycling, the institute can reduce energy costs by up to 75 percent in the manufacturing process and 95 percent in recycling process. The end result will be less energy needed to accomplish the advanced composite creating which is better for the environment.
The creation of the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation is a positive advancement for the future of ongoing efforts to further research and production using advanced composites. While the institute is focused on creating a system which will help to create a cleaner environment, it’s technological advancements will help the manufacturing and recycle process of carbon fiber composites threefold. This will path the path for stronger and lighter weight carbon fiber materials.
Now that we have determined that the Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation is a positive step to creating a cleaner environment by reducing energy needed in manufacturing we can look at how this move will help move towards more employment opportunities for those in need of stable jobs with a decent income which is needed not only in the United States but in neighboring countries as well. While the institute is relatively new, it has already shown progress by helping to partner Ford and Dowaska who announced a joint agreement which will entail research on cost effective, high volume manufacturing of automotive grade carbon fiber along with IACMI.
The goals created by the Advanced Composite Manufacturing Innovation institute is focused on creating long term solutions designed to manufacture products that are built in a cleaner and more cost effective way enabling the manufacturing and recycle process of carbon fiber composites to move forward. Although there are many more steps to take before the process can be perfected and reach desired results, progress is definitely in the making.
The efforts to make a carbon fiber materials that are better for the environment while going through the manufacturing process is possibly the last step to creating a process that will sustain the industry for decades if not centuries to come. With the proper research advanced carbon fibers will continue to lead the pack in materials designed for vehicles used in innovated ways and products with higher quality. We may have only tipped the the top of the iceberg as far as carbon fiber material advancement is concerned and it will be interesting to see how much of a positive change the Advancement Composites Manufacturing Innovation brings long term. Stay tuned for more positive changes!