Scaling-up composite materials and processing to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and sustainability.
High-performing materials known as composites can be used in the manufacturing of vehicles, satellites, and wind turbine blades. These lightweight materials exhibit great strength and are capable of withstanding high temperatures and absorbing energy in the event of a vehicular collision. The additive manufacturing of high-performing composites and their associated products ensures that new technologies in the U.S. remain sustainable through the leveraging of bio-based materials and recycling processes.
The Composites Science and Technology Section converts sustainably derived natural feedstocks and develops novel conversion processes to create materials with desirable traits such as strength, ductility, or flexibility. These processes are tested at industry scale for the benefit of manufacturers and, ultimately, end users. The section includes four groups: Advanced Fiber Manufacturing, Composites Innovation, Extreme Environment Process Materials, and Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies.
Researchers are embedded within the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, both Department of Energy-designated user facilities at ORNL, as well as at the IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility in Detroit, Michigan.