Owing to the government programme, students at the University of Tennessee were able to hands-on study of the methods for composite manufacture, including those based on basalt fiber.
American Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) enabled students at the University of Tennessee to design, build and test composite snow sled prototypes using basalt, carbon, and glass fibers and demonstrated them at the opening of 2017-2018 sledding season.
IACMI members offered the material and equipment for students to conduct the research project. The organizations involved in the IACMI include Mafic, Ashland Performance Materials, Huntsman, Polynt, Chomarat, the University of Tennessee etc.
The composite sleds were created through a vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process, using vinyl ester or epoxy resins. The advantage of fiber reinforced sleds over traditional plastic sleds is the higher mechanical performance and durability, in addition to weight reduction that leads to aerodynamic performance improvement.
The research projects allow students to gain knowledge about the characteristics of different materials, to learn about the molding process through hands-on experiments. The industry partners receive input on material performance in different environments and additional visibility through collaborative research opportunities.
American Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) that is the US government’s initiative. The institutes involved in the programme focus on the development of advanced manufacturing technologies, help to business and building a pipeline of talent to support advanced manufacturing.
Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) includes industry-specific companies, universities, laboratories and representatives of federal, state and local authorities.
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