In Washington State three partners in the composites industry have joined forces on two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to develop advanced methods of recycling composite materials.
The collaborative agreements brought together the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC), the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and Peninsula College.
The Composite Recycling Technology Center is the claimed to be the ‘world's first’ facility to divert uncured carbon fibre scrap from landfill, recycling it into innovative new products.
IACMI-The Composites Institute, is the fifth Institute in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, with a focus deployment of advanced composites in clean energy technologies. It is supported by the US Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office and was created by the federal government to support US manufacturing by accelerating the development and commercial use of composites.
The deal establishes CRTC as a strategic partner in IACMI, and allows Peninsula College to expand its curriculum to include workforce development for composites manufacturing.
The signing ceremony was overseen by Senator Maria Cantwell and other officials at the art CRTC facility in Port Angeles, Washington, which broke ground in September 2015.
ACMI is one of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).
AMO director, Mark Johnson, noted the potential to innovate in the US and coordinate with groups across the nation to unlock the potential for a cleaner, safer, and economically secure future.
The institutes were said to play an important role in driving innovation within unique areas of concentration in manufacturing through strategic public-private partnerships.
This new partnership is expected to add CRTC’s expertise in composite recycling to IACMI, and serve to broaden the national impact of the Institute while expanding the capabilities of the Port Angeles facility.
The agreement extends IACMI’s reach to the West Coast and is hoped to bring new opportunities for manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest to utilise shared innovation infrastructure and engage with the entire advanced composites network.
The partners said that under the deal Peninsula College will introduce a ‘first-of-its-kind’ Composite Recycling Certification, which gives students hands-on training in advanced materials recycling and remanufacturing techniques.
This certification is planned to provide the workforce necessary to expand and commercialize composites recycling techniques.
The partnership was also said to offer the potential to accelerate innovation, increase competitiveness of US composites manufacturing, and ensure that the workforce can meet the needs of an evolving composites industry.
"Innovative products made from recycled carbon fibre provide this region with opportunities for transforming our economy, attracting and training the best and brightest, and leading the nation in sustainable composites manufacturing,” commented Robert Larsen, CRTC CEO."
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