According to organisers, SAMPE and ACMA, the Combined Strength Award celebrates visionary concepts and products that show strength through collaboration, while bridging low-cost materials/high-volume applications with high performance applications/low-volume materials. Organisers explain how this year, the award went to Cincinnati Incorporated for Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) technology that creates 3-D large-scale products up to 10 times larger than currently producible, and at speeds 200 to 500 times faster than existing additive machines. This type of technology allows for 3-D printing to be used for production manufacturing. The technology’s use of commodity thermoplastic materials allows manufacturers to reduce costs per part, and the system’s open architecture helps keep material costs low.
The Unsurpassed Innovation Award recognises a product or process that will significantly impact composites and advanced materials in the marketplace. This year, the award went to Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) for its TCA Ultra Lite, a Class A Body Panel material that GM recently used to cut weight from the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. Organisers explains that, as automakers continue to seek material solutions for increasingly demanding fuel efficiency standards, materials such as TCA Ultra Lite set a high standard for what the automotive industry expects from composite materials and will lead to further integration of composites in automotive lightweighting solutions.
Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation