Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently announced that 14 companies have joined with the organization to establish the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium. The new endeavor will work to accelerate the development, demonstration and commercial application of new low-cost carbon fiber and composites materials in several industry sectors.

Charter members of the consortium include the Dow Chemical Co., 3M Co., Faurecia, Toho Tenax America, Plasan Carbon Composites, Composite Applications Group, Umeco Composites Structural Materials, Graftech International, United Technologies Research Center, Harper International, Hills Inc., Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, SSOE Group, Innovation Valley and UT-Battelle (the managing contractor for ORNL).

ORNL is designing and constructing the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, a $35 million pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons of new low-cost carbon fibers from several different precursors. Consortium members will meet twice a year for briefings on ORNL’s research, development and demonstration efforts in carbon fiber composites, and to provide critical insights into market trends and opportunities.

“Engaging industrial partners all along the value chain is a critically important aspect of ORNL’s carbon fiber composites program,” said Thom Mason, director of ORNL. “Our ultimate goal is to help businesses develop new commercial applications of low-cost carbon fibers and composites that will help our country address our goal of energy independence.”

The consortium will host its inaugural meeting in September in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Additional members are welcome to join the consortium.

For more information, visitwww.cfcomposites.org.