Carbon Fiber Cluster Strategy
ORNL has a 40-year history in R&D on fiber-reinforced composite materials, and has been leading DOE’s low-cost carbon fiber initiative for more than a decade. Partnerships Staff is leading an effort to capitalize on these unique R&D assets to create a new cluster of economic activity in the East Tennessee region. Major efforts in the Carbon Fiber Cluster initiative include:
- Carbon Fiber Technology Facility ORNL received a $34.7 million award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to design, construct, and operate the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, which will be capable of producing up to 25 tons per year of new carbon fiber materials from alternate precursors. The CFTF will be operational in January, 2013.
- Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium - The mission of the Consortium is to help government and industry collaborate to accelerate the development of new lower cost carbon fiber materials and create a new generation of strong light-weight materials to address America’s economic competitiveness. ORNL is a member and currently serves as managing director of the consortium, which now has 40 members across the value chain from feedstock producers to end users. www.cfcomposites.org
- Workforce Development - ORNL has partnered with Roane State Community College to establish AMTEC, the Advanced Materials Training and Education Center, on the campus of ORNL’s Science and Technology Park. AMTEC’s efforts will help ensure that the region has an adequate supply of talent to support the carbon fiber industry as it grows in the region.