NCMS Report Features Multi-Sector Collaborations That Have Achieved Breakthroughs in Composites and Advanced Materials Sustainment

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 Ann Arbor, The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) announces the publication of a new report focused on advancing high-performance composite design and manufacturing processes through its collaborations with industry, academic, and government partners.

For decades, NCMS has facilitated initiatives resulting in remarkable advancements in the use of composites and other advanced materials. In its new Technology Brief, “Breakthroughs in Composites and Advanced Materials Sustainment,” it reviews several successes, including:

  • An NCMS initiative solved a challenge in the production and repair of composites: over 10% of engineering time is spent resolving cure cycle and heat transfer issues. The project team developed and validated the effectiveness of tools to manage heat transfer for ovens and autoclaves used in the production and repair of composites. Higher quality repair of composite structures results in fewer failures and therefore fewer scrapped parts, more efficient operations, and significant cost savings.
  • To solve the difficulties many maintenance artisans face in joining together lightweight composites and alloys, NCMS partners have found success in developing high-strength, high-elongation adhesives with low-temperature cure times.  Given the increased use of advanced lightweight materials in the auto, aviation, and aerospace industries, these more versatile joining methods for dissimilar materials are critical for manufacturing and repair.
  • A team of academic and industry partners has developed a reversible thermoplastic adhesive system capable of repairing vehicle components comprised of a combination of steel, aluminum, and glass-fiber reinforced composites. Being able to remove and replace advanced adhesives quickly and easily greatly reduces the downtime and cost for repairing a wide range of assets in many industries.
  • Another multi-sector initiative is developing a domestic source of mesophase pitch-based carbon fiber and lightweight composites to produce lightweight composite wheel rims and other components for commercial and military trucks. It is critical that more local, affordable sourcing for carbon fiber be developed as the need grows for lighter weight, more fuel-efficient vehicles and equipment.

In addition, NCMS has worked for several years to facilitate an annual meeting of the Joint Composite and Advanced Materials Sustainment (JCAMS) group established by the Department of Defense. This meeting continues to bring together government and military officials, industry leaders, manufacturers, engineers, and other technical experts who focus on issues facing the manufacturing, tooling, deployment, and repair of advanced composite materials in a defense setting.

To learn more about these and other successes as well as NCMS’s role in developing, demonstrating, and transitioning innovative technologies, view the full Technology Brief: https://www.ncms.org/breakthroughs-in-composites-and-advanced-material-sustainment/.

About NCMS
NCMS is a cross-industry technology development consortium dedicated to improving the competitiveness and strength of the US industrial base for over 35 years. NCMS leverages a network of industry, government, and university partners to develop, demonstrate, and transition innovative technologies efficiently, with less risk and lower cost. NCMS enables world-class companies to work effectively with other members on new opportunities—matching highly capable companies with the providers and end users who need their innovations and technology solutions. The NCMS network benefits from an accelerated progression of idea creation through execution.

About the NCMS Tech Brief Program
NCMS technology briefs highlight NCMS’s cultivation and growth of innovative technologies. Through our collaborations with government and industry, we’ve gained insights into viable approaches and best practices that can assist all companies navigate the sometimes-complex journey towards advancement. Based on the results of NCMS technology projects, the briefs show the applicability and usefulness of proven technical advances—all in an effort to speed adoption and eliminate duplication of effort. NCMS is pleased to share these insights to support U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.

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