ORNL, Tennessee, USA, is a science and technology laboratory managed for the US Department of Energy by UT-Battelle LLC.

ORNL has a 40-year history in research, development, demonstration and deployment of fibre reinforced composite materials. For the past decade it has led the Department of Energy's low cost carbon fibre initiative. ORNL is currently designing and constructing the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, a US$35 million pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons of low cost carbon fibres from several different precursors.

Other members of the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Consortium include:

  • Dow Chemical Company;
  • 3M Company;
  • Faurecia;
  • Toho Tenax America;
  • Plasan Carbon Composites;
  • Composite Applications Group;
  • Umeco Composites Structural Materials;
  • Graftech International;
  • United Technologies Research Center;
  • Harper International;
  • Hills Material and Chemistry Laboratory;
  • SSOE Group;
  • Innovation Valley; and
  • UT-Battelle.

Consortium members will convene twice a year for briefings on ORNL's research, development and demonstration efforts in carbon fibre composites, and to provide insights into market trends and opportunities.

"Engaging industrial partners all along the value chain is a critically important aspect of ORNL's carbon fibre composites programme," says ORNL Director Thom Mason. "Our ultimate goal is to help businesses develop new commercial applications of low-cost carbon fibres 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. Additional members are welcome to join the consortium. For more information contact Tom Rogers, ORNL's director of Industrial Partnerships, at rogerstc@ornl.gov.