Rapidly approaching: Carbon fiber's seminal event

The 17th-annual Carbon Fiber conference is just weeks away (Dec. 8-10) and it's time to register if you haven't done so. This year's conference marks the return of Chris Red's carbon fiber supply and demand report, and we will also hear from Boeing's director of 777X wing manufacture.

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Carbon fiber tows during the manufacturing process.

There are few composites industry events that have the quality and staying power of CompositesWorld's annual Carbon Fiber conference. This year marks the 17th Carbon Fiber conference and will be held Dec. 8-10 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, TN, US.

If you've not registered yet, you still have time. But only a few weeks. 

Carbon Fiber's location in Knoxville is not a coincidence. Its proximity to Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) gives the conference special access to people and facilities that are at the forefront of carbon fiber research and development in everything from aircraft to cars to wind blades to consumer products. In addition, the conference every year attracts a strong, engaged core of carbon fiber professionals — presenters and attendees — who make the event one of the industry's must-attend events.

Included in this year's conference is a panel featuring representatives from the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) who will discuss that consortium's efforts to reduce costs and increase manufacturing speed in a variety of composite end markets and applications.

The panel will be moderated by Craig Blue, CEO of IACMI. CW caught up with Blue at CAMX and talked to him about IACMI new training partnership with Composites One and Magnum Venus Products, which aims to reach out to young composites enthusiasts with a series of four regional training session in 2016:

 
Blue also offered his view of how the composites industry in general has reacted to IACMI, which is in its very early days of developing projects to help accelerate composites innovation. IACMI issued its first call for proposals in September.
 
 
Of course, there's much more to the Carbon Fiber conference. You can find the full agenda here, but here are the presentation titles if you don't want to leave us yet:

December 8:

- Pre-conference seminar: Carbon Fiber Supply and Demand (see details below)
ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility tours (morning and afternoon); birthdate and residency information required; registration deadline, Nov. 20.

December 9:

- Keynote: Composites for Clean Energy
- Industrial Carbon Fiber Applications in Wind and Transportation Systems, Opportunities Abound
- Ushering in the Carbon Fiber Century – An Industrial Evolution
- The Future of Automotive Lightweighting: Building Case of 2025 and Beyond
- How to Give the Market “Affordable Carbon Fiber”
- Investment Opportunities in the Carbon Fiber Aerospace and Automotive Markets
- Elium – A New Technology to Make Recyclable Structural Parts
- Automated Production of Curvilinear Patch-Based 3D Preforms for High Volume Applications
- Production Advantages of Automated Fiber Placement Using Towpreg
- Global Expansion in Carbon Fiber Manufacturing: Strategic Considerations for Energy Utilization
- Commercializing Plasma Oxidation: 75% Unit Energy Savings with 3X Greater -Thoughput and Better Properties
- Carbon Fibers from Sustainable Biomass for Energy Applications
- IACMI Plenary Presentations and Panel Discussion

December 10:

Keynote: 777x Composite Wing: New Consumer of Composite Fiber Technology
- Carbon Fiber Composites for Next Generation Military Aircraft
- The Digital Journey Continues – People & Process
- Recycle and Reuse in Composite Production - A Full Life-cycle Approach
- Composite Additive Manufacturing
- The Influence of Carbon Fiber Age on Composite Performance
- NanoStitch-enhanced prepreg for interlaminar reinforcement in fiber reinforced polymer composites
- Reinventing a Parts Manufacturer for a Changing Marketplace
- Countervail Vibration Canceling Technology
- Surface Treatment for Improving Performance and Automation in CFRP Bonding and Manufacturing
- Intelligent Automation for Composites Part Manufacturing: Internet-of-Things (IoT) with RFID sensors

Note the day two keynote, which I have underlined. This presentation, by Perry Moore, director, 777X Wing Operations, at the Boeing Co., will be the first public discussion by Boeing about the carbon fiber composite wings being developed for the 777X. Unlike it does with the 787, Boeing is fabricating the 777X wings in-house in a purpose-built plant being erected in Everett, WA. The wings represent some of the largest carbon fiber composite structures ever fabricated.

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777X. Rendering.

Finally, for the first time since 2012 Chris Red, in his pre-conference seminar on Dec. 8, will update his carbon fiber supply and demand data, which is highly coveted and always offers a variety of signals about where and how carbon fiber use is evolving and maturing. This table, but 2012, offers a glimpse of the kind of data that you can expect this year:

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2012 carbon fiber supply data from Chris Red, prinicpal of
Composites Forecasts & Consulting LLC.

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks at Carbon Fiber 2015. Visit www.carbonfiberevent.com for more information, and to register.