Episode 36: Dale Brosius and Uday Vaidya, IACMI
IACMI’s Dale Brosius and Uday Vaidya talk about the first five years of the organization, how it has evolved and what the future might hold as IACMI continues its quest to help drive composite materials and process growth.
#trends #iacmi #precursor
Episode 36: Dale Brosius and Uday Vaidya, IACMI
Dale Brosius, Uday Vaidya. Photo Credit: IACMI
This is episode 36 of CW Talks and our guests are Dale Brosius, chief commercialization officer and executive director of IACMI, and Uday Vaidya, chief technology officer of IACMI. IACMI — the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation — is a public/private consortium based in the U.S. that works to stimulate research and development in composite materials and manufacturing processes.
Dale and Uday were part of the team that launched IACMI in 2015. We will talk about the first five years of the organization, how it has evolved and what the future might hold as IACMI continues its quest to help drive composite materials and process growth.
Transcript of Dale Brosius and Uday Vaidya interview with CW Talks, recorded Nov. 12, 2020
Jeff Sloan (JS): Before we get started, I'd like each of you to explain briefly the role that you play within IACMI.
Dale Brosius (DB): Okay, well, I'll start this. I have two roles at IACMI. First is the chief commercialization officer where I coordinate the participation of IACMI's core research partners, such as University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Labs, with our headquarter functions, and I work to ensure that the funded projects that we have underway and moving toward commercially exploitable outcomes. I also serve as the executive director of the acting member consortium, which includes small medium and large industrial companies, universities, community colleges, national labs, trade associations and state economic agencies. So it represents the panopoly of the, you know, the composites world. The consortium is what actually organizes our twice yearly members meetings and performs industry outreach through our trade shows, and other events.
Uday Vaidya (UV): Yeah, so I'm Uday Vaidya. I serve as the Chief Technology Officer for IACMI and I also have a joint appointment with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab as the governor's chair in composites manufacturing. Particularly to the CTO role at IACMI, I participate in a range of technical directions of the projects and shaping of projects helping with technology roadmapping efforts. Also going out and talking about what IACMI is to potential companies and trade organizations who have questions about the Institute. So it's a fairly broad role, but I'm in the middle of many technology related things concerning the Institute.
JS: So you both wear a lot of hats, obviously. We'll talk about IACMI's future in a minute. But first I'd like I'd like you to explain for our audience what exactly IACMI is and what its what its charter was, and it because I know that some of that's changing a little bit, but we'll talk about that soon. But I how was it funded, organized and structured at the start.
DB: I'll take this one. You know, IACMI is the nation's composites Institute, part of Manufacturing USA. It really focuses on the research side of the equation in growing the composites marketplace. It was funded in 2015. It was in response to a 2014 DOE funding opportunity. And again, under what is now known as a Manufacturing USA Initiative. We initially were focused on three markets: vehicles, wind energy and compressed gas storage — you know the latter for things like hydrogen, fuel cells and natural gas vehicles. And then to that we added to cross-cutting areas — modeling the simulation, and materials and processes — to support work across those three markets. Now, along the way, we also attracted considerable interest from other markets like aerospace, you know, largely due to our efforts to drive down cycle times and costs. Our initial funding of $70 million over five years was provided by the Department of Energy and this was supplanted by $57 million in funding from six member states and over $70 million of cost share from industry. IACMI is actually operated by collaborative composite solutions corporation which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. And it's been served over these years by a board of directors of various stakeholders.
JS: You mentioned, Dale, that IACMI attracted interest from aerospace over the years because of some of the activities that you were focused on. Does IACMI's original charter preclude it from emphasizing or focusing on aerospace or how did that factor in as the organization matured?
DB: Well, it didn't. In fact, we've we've also served a few other tangential markets as well. But as long as our focus is then on research that lowers costs, lowers embodied energy, improves recycling, improves cycle time, those kinds of things, you know, which would work for to what we initially started with, aerospace is certainly has a lot of those same kind of interests and are increasingly so with markets out in the future, such as urban air mobility and so forth, and in higher rate, aerospace production. So it was just a natural evolution, you know, aerospace has always been a big user of composites that made sense for them to gravitate toward the kinds of the technologies we were pursuing, outside of traditional autoclave cure.
JS: You mentioned 2015, when IACMI started. I'd like both of you to think back to 2015 and that launch, and I'm wondering what your expectations for the organization where and I'm wondering, how does IACMI today align with what you hoped it would become? Were you were you surprised by anything? And what kind of hurdles did you encounter that you did not anticipate?
UV: Yeah, so IACMI started way back in 2015, quite honestly, Jeff, it was a completely new experience, for me, at least coming to institute of this size, as not quite sure what to fully expect. But I knew that the power of an institute of this could be extremely game-changing for the composite industry, because there was no such technology organization that would sell this function. I mean, other organizations like ACMA, SME, SAMPE were very great partners in composites, but organizations like this, which provided the industry opportunity to launch projects of their choosing, and led by industry, was very interesting and game-changing in my view. As the institute has evolved, actually, that model stayed very firm. In fact, the study membership partners have about 150 partners has been very much in play through these years. There have been a lot of industry-led projects that have stemmed as well as innovations have taken place. I didn't quite expect so much of educational impact in terms of the workforce development and the workforce training that the institute has enabled. The ways of conducting work across the enterprise and having so many assets available to small companies has been very significant as well. So many of these things really were very interesting. The hurdles, of course, an institute of this size, it takes a while for assets to come up to speed and be able to be fully operational, etc. Barring some of the time taken for coming up to speed, everything else has been quite positive.
DB: I think, number of us in IACMI spent a fair bit of time in Europe, where we were able to visit Institute facilities in places like Germany, France, and the UK. So, you know, coming into it we had a pretty good feel of what we wanted to create in terms of capabilities. You know, as of now, I'd say we've done a good job of catching up, although those countries continue to invest, expanding their capabilities to address current and future market needs. So you know I think we need to continue doing that as well. In terms of technologies, I believe we have world-leading capabilities in advanced modeling and simulation tools, for example, large-scale 3d printing, recycling of composites, and lowering the cost and energy footprint of carbon fiber. As far as surprises, I was pleasantly surprised by the strong industry support for IACMI and the willingness to collaborate on projects where they have to share intellectual property. You know, I'm not sure we knew how that would go. But it's been a real pleasant surprise. I've also been pleasantly surprised, like Uday, by our great workforce development program. You know such success doesn't come without some hurdles, one of which was learning how to get the project started and under contract within the DOE process model. We had a lot of work to do there. And, you know, we had some hurdles, it took longer than expected to procure some of the major assets that we've got, but we got through that, although we didn't happen quite as quickly as we wished.
JS: Okay, and you mentioned equipment. Maybe you could just summarize for us real quick, what what the physical assets are that IACMI has put in place and where they're located.
DB: We started out with, with quite a bit of assets, you know, through Oak Ridge National Labs and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. But a couple of significant facilities that we can point to would be the scale-up research facility in Detroit, which has the largest compression presses in North America, with the kind of controls that it has, with capabilities for pressing materials as well as high-pressure RTM, a very large injection molding machine, the 3000 ton injection machine for large part injection molding technologies. Prepreg line there; and there's some other assets there as well, but those are the three main ones at the scale-up research facility in Detroit. At Purdue, basically, a greenfield setup, the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, which is where we have our modeling and simulation, but to backup the modeling and simulation work, it's not just a bunch of computer workstations, there are laboratory-scale equipment out behind that, where they can go can conduct validation experiments to make sure that the modeling and simulation actually predicts correctly what's going to happen in the real world. That's been very valuable there. And then out in Colorado, the COMET facility, we call it at National Renewable Energy Lab. The ability to infuse large structures, the wind blades, which we've put to use on several projects so far. And there have been other assets added at the University of Tennessee at Oak Ridge National Labs where we already had the the carbon fiber technology facility.
JS: You know, you mentioned the IP sharing. I remember that first meeting in 2015 in Knoxville, and that was a big point of discussion among the members who were at that first meeting, I recall. And there was a lot of side discussions about how willing companies and participants and members might be to share information and there was frankly, a lot of maybe doubt and uncertainty about how that would go. It seems to me it's gone very well. I'm always I'm always impressed and member meetings that how much activity there is like, on the sides. I mean, the meetings themselves, obviously very focused and informative. But you know, during breaks, it seems like a very fertile opportunity for your members to get together and exchange ideas and share information. And I think I think that's a that's possibly one of the best outcomes or one of the strongest outcomes for IACMI that I've noticed over the five years of the organization.
DB: Well, thanks, Jeff. I mean, it certainly is, I mean, this ability to connect people with names with people who have solutions is always important, and especially in the technical realm, and I think we've been pretty successful at doing that and connecting small companies to large companies, or to the national labs where they would be intimidated or have a very difficult time finding that right person.
JS: You mentioned some projects that IACMI has completed, I guess I'd like each of you to maybe talk about what you consider maybe the most notable or most memorable projects from the last five years. And maybe, Uday, you can start with that one.
UV: Sure, Jeff. So actually, the question on IACMI accomplishments is fairly broad. It's kind of almost difficult to pick which versus others. But I can pick a number of things that have come out in a positive way. For example, this led the path for a signature project with Volkswagen, a leading OEM, essentially based in Tennessee but had partnerships across the entire IACMI enterprise, starting with the concept to finish an SMC [sheet molding compound] tailgate that included everything from Oak Ridge National Lab, University of Tennessee, Purdue University, Michigan State IACMI, industry partners. This was a signature project which also Volkswagen created the North American Innovation Center, which was greatly influenced by their presence in IACMI and vice versa. There's been a lot of interest from the starting of IACMI on the low cost carbon fiber, the textile grade carbon fiber pioneered at Oak Ridge. So at that time, in 2015, the fiber was being produced with the precursor but there were very few outlets in terms of downstream processing into composite. So IACMI led the pathway for all the database creation around that and creating a range of intermediate options for things like compounding, injection molding, pultrusion, and packaging of this into NCFs [noncrimp fabrics] and things like that. IACMI has enabled a great recycling portfolio. At the start of IACMI, there was very few companies doing any recycling per se. But with IACMI now you have companies like Vartega, ELG has a good presence in carbon fiber recycling. ACM has a very signature project on that. So about eight recycling projects have been enabled to this portfolio of recycling. Also, there was the 9 and 30 meter wind at NREL with the wind technology area of IACMI. So it was the first time a thermoplastic wind blade was demonstrated through the industry partnerships and those led to IACMI. So that was a notable effort. Finally, I will point out that there's been another effort in the Friendship Bell project where he won a CAMX Award to produce overmolded braided beams, each being over 10 meters long and different architectures for recreational applications, completely unique application of sorts. And the Technology Roadmap delivered by IACMI has kind of been very significant. It's a global roadmap that integrates a lot of technology areas for long time to come. So I would consider all of those as notables. And obviously I'm missing so many more, but Dale will obviously point them out.
JS: What stands out to you, Dale?
DB: Well, I think from an accomplishment standpoint, I think the building of 150-plus member consortium consisting of small and medium enterprises through OEMs, representing the entire value chain is a good one. The providing of engaging and impactful internships, to over 100 universities, students with many of those that have been hired into the composites industry or have moved on to start pursuing advanced degrees. And then, you know, we've actually initiated, and we are closing in on completing over 50 projects, a public private partnership project. That's quite a few projects over a five-year period a lot. Some of those are multi-year projects, multi-million dollar projects. But under that, so far, we've helped validate and get commercialized more than 15 new products as a result of those projects with more yet to come.
JS: Yeah, I've been impressed by the internship program in particular. Because it seemed to me that United States in particular, prior to IACMI's, existence, really was lacking a formal, structured, organized program that helped drive students into this industry. And I think IACMI has done a great job of helping start that. And obviously, that's it's much needed. I think, UDAY, you mentioned the Workforce Development aspect of IACMI and I think that's a big part of it, for sure. The original funding model of IACMI anticipated a five-year life for the organization, or at least some money was designed to last for five years. But I know that the both of you have been a part of an effort to evolve IACMI to make it sustainable beyond that window, which is, of course this year. I'm wondering, what is the new IACMI structure? How is it different from what was established originally? And what do you see are the advantages of this of the new Acme?
DB: I'll start with that. You know, the original funding was for a five-year period, but from the beginning of the plan was always to have IACMI be a continuing entity beyond that five-year period, so to always continue as a focal point for R&D for the composites industry. But we had to work hard to develop a sustainability plan to continue to do that. So our strategy included that diversification other markets outside our original mandate — you know, aerospace, as we've already talked about, plus infrastructure and construction, for example. You know, these are just examples. But to be a broader representative to the composites market space. And we're also working with our members to fund, pursue, you know, funding from other federal agencies, in addition to DOE and respond to point out opportunities within the DOE space, you know, from the various program offices. And today we've been somewhat successful with that. We've been awarded contracts in conjunction with our industrial and educational partners to get contracts from the DOD and from NASA as well as other DOE projects. These have included workforce development, technology development, and then there's still the potential out there for another five years of funding similar to our first five years. We've restructured our membership tiers to be more friendly, economically, to the smallest of companies — we have revised our our fee structure for that. And we're evolving our governance model to emphasize greater participation from industry, so that industry, we'll have even a bigger voice with where we go from here.
JS: Are the working groups that you had at the fall meeting, are they are they part of that?
UV: Yes, Jeff. So I may add to that, that what Dale said. So the as you know, as part of the members meeting we introduced this time six working groups, which were very well received. I think each of the working groups had over 100 participants on average. And these working groups ranged from like recycling technologies, high-rate aerospace manufacturing, wind energy, design, modeling, simulation, and other topics of infrastructure being one of high interest to the industry. This helped shape the project directions and technology directions in areas, which IACMI me as being focused, as you know, mostly on the automotive wind and gas storage, but now it opens up so many more avenues. And it's guided by the industry input, as we have done already in the past five years. But this will help us expand even more. So these working groups have a lot of energy and I believe it will shape the institute in a very significant way.
JS: Uday, are those working groups open to anybody or confined IACMI membership?
UV: I think for this first round, we certainly had it open to interested parties. Obviously, our goal would be to enhance membership to the working group structure. At this stage, we have not fully established a specific model of who will be in the working group or not. Certainly the leading partners of the working group would be IACMI members, but there may be companies who want to explore and get a feel for what the whole thing is about before they join. So I'm sure there'll be some provisions for those kinds of mechanisms.
JS: OK, it could be a nice recruiting tool, I suppose, as well for drawing folks to IACMI who are not very involved right now. Dale, you mentioned earlier that before IACMI was started, you and others had traveled to Europe to look at some of the research and development models there. And every time I think about IACMI, I do think about that European model. And as you referenced, that European model is pretty robust, you know, employs a network of university and publicly funded labs and commercial enterprises that work in a variety of areas and composites materials and process development. And I'm thinking here of organizations like Fraunhofer and DLR and others. You imply that that was a model that IACMI could or might emulate? And I'm wondering if you if you still feel that way? Did you feel that way originally? Do you feel that way now? Is that is that feasible here in the United States? And are there aspects of that European model that might work here that IAMI could pursue?
DB: Well, one of the key initiatives over our first five years has actually been to continue to foster relationships with our counterpart institutes in Europe. You know, for example, Composites United in Germany, which is the former CFK Valley Stade plus Mike Carbone out of Bavaria, and some other associations within Germany. But that includes multiple Fraunhofer and DLR sites. And also, we've spent a lot of time in the UK with various parts of the high-value manufacturing Catapult centers, one of which most people know of is the National Composites Center in Bristol. And what we find with all these, you know, we all identify with the large barriers to entry for composites, you know, and that cycle time recycling costs, and then we all talk about how a global approach to solving the problems should yield, you know, results faster and more economically. You know, do we certainly look at that technology development commercialization approach is a model that they have, although they've been at it in this large-scale format much longer than than we have. And so that certainly kind of formulated a bit of it. And with that IACMI we have operated to this point as a public private partnership, much like what they've done in in Europe. So it's somewhat similar. You know, we have a slightly different culture at approach to government funding in the U.S., so we have to live within those constraints. You know, there's just different rules here about how you acquire government funding for those sorts of things. But nonetheless, we've been able to actually establish some joint R&D projects with Germany and with the UK that kicked off the last few years, and they're still ongoing.
JS: And Uday how you see that?
UV: Yeah, so I think it is to add to what Dale said, one of the examples, if you consider Volkswagen, already an IACMI member, there's a lot of activity already going on where some of the Volkswagen engineers are actually working as grad students at UT doing their joint PhD. This is reciprocal in nature, I believe, with the new structure of IACMI, it'll open up for a lot of opportunities for personal exchange across the different countries and these types as staff engineers, postdocs, and graduate students as example, you know, exchange the joint publication, joint technology development would be enabled greatly, given all the seed work that's already done.
JS: Dale, I'm wondering, since you have so much interaction with these European organizations, I'm wondering what feedback you get from them about IACMI since it was launched?
DB: Well, we showed up and everybody wanted to dance with us. It's a pretty good experience, you know, because I think they recognize that the US has, you know, has often lead, you know, the world and particularly in early stage TRL types of discoveries, and so forth. But then somewhere along the way, you know, the US wasn't making those investments in that, that valley of death, merging that the three to seven types of technology, and when they saw IACMI formed, again, some of us that already had long standing relationships with people at Fraunhofer or the National Composites Center. You know they saw that, and, of course, they reached out, and they said, hey, how could we start? How can we work together? And that's where those came from. I mean they've seen it as an opportunity to further leverage international relations. There just seems to be an approach here that their governments look forward and instill in them and provide funding opportunities to do international collaboration that our government hasn't seen the wisdom of doing yet.
JS: I want to talk in a second about the future by IACMI, but I have a quick intermediate question. You know, we're in the middle of a pandemic that's been ongoing since late February, that's probably not going to end really effectively until mid to late next year — 2021. The two of you are fairly prominent within the composites industry, you see and know a lot of people in organizations, and I'm wondering what your perspective is on the impact of this pandemic on the industry? I know this is kind of a loaded question with a lot of different answers. But I'm wondering if each of you has some thoughts about where this pandemic might lead us? And how we might come out of it. Are there any silver linings to this cloud? Are we just in a cloud hoping it's going pass soon?
DB: Uday, you want to take this one first? And I say that only because, you know, Uday's been involved in, in a lot of initiatives associated with responding to the pandemic. And, you know, particularly in terms of rapid manufactured tooling for PPE and so forth. So I don't wanna steal his thunder there, but I think he can address this first.
UV: I think that's a great question there. So in terms of COVID, actually, it's been a two-edged sword. On one hand, it has created all kinds of opportunities for innovation and rapid product development. On the other hand, of course, it's very painful, as we all know. But in terms of the COVID back in March, when this happened, there were some very early needs, as you know, PPE and enabling very rapid assets and being able to energize like tooling being able to produce things on rapid mass scale. So in this exercise, I think our collective teams with IACMI assets in the middle of everything, responded to everything from producing face shields, reusable masks, a patient barrier, testing tubes, which was in big shortage, as you know, announced by the president in his news conference back in May or so. So the things were possible for one that there was a lot of assets in place already, there's a lot of trained students and workforce that understood plastics and composites, and the advantages of light weighting in some of these areas. So the tangible examples, were just if you look at the face shields alone, with partnership with industry partners, like Eastman, for example, we were able to produce 50,000 face shields in a matter of three weeks, from tooling to production for the entire community at the university. So, the ability to respond to that kind of scale was very real. This also has led to a lot of follow-up proposals that we have submitted towards NIST and DOD again, expanding IACMI's role in these areas. Going forward, it has negatively affected, of course, the some of this growth of the industry, job creation, things of that nature. But I think the innovation stemming of it can result in lot more startups and growth and attention to this, because it has really, truly created opportunities, which even didn't exist a few months ago.
JS: Dale, what do you think?
DB: I would agree with the two-edged sword approach here, obviously, you know, as an industry and and in many cases, a lot of the markets that we're in, we're still on the outside or have a very niche positions and trying to grow those positions. And, you know, and not being able to get out and in sell and promote in the ways that we normally do, can be kind of tough, especially if we're trying to introduce people to these new kinds of materials. There's a very tactile approach to that people like to, you know, you want to pick up something that's very lightweight, that's totally different than be just told how much lighter something is, you know, the fact that you can pick it up, and you can realize it for yourself is important, you can see what what composites can do. So, losing a year, you know, what will probably be close to a year or more, of those kind of opportunities is tough. I think it's tough on the workforce development side, particularly education, for students that we're trying to attract to this. But some industries have been pretty resilient. The wind industry has been pretty resilient through all of this. And I think that's representative of long-range trends toward renewable energy because of its economics. And then electrification is going to continue to happen no matter what. So, you know, we come back out of this, I think there'll be a raft of new opportunities available to attack. But again, we're gonna have to all get back in the swing of things, and get comfortable, however long that takes to getting back to doing business in face-to-face mode.
JS: I hope you're right. And I agree. And I hope I'm right, too. I'd like to think about the next five years, thinking about the material and process challenges that the composites industry faces today, pandemic aside, as IACMI moves into the future, where would you like the organization to be in another five or so years? And what's your vision for IACMI's this place in the composites industry?
UV: Yeah, so I guess the future is brighter, I always think that way. And, I guess, diversification of IACMI beyond the core areas is one of the key aspects that will guide its success. Because if you enter large markets, like infrastructure and defense and those areas, you can really, I think, start making inroads into a broad range of technologies. I think IACMI's reach to the small companies is going to be a big factor as well, because the more smaller companies you can energize and get them to be successful in technologies and being able to access the IACMI assets and accelerate the technology development could also be a very significant aspect of economic development. I think IACMI's presence in the workforce area and training is going to be huge. In fact, it's going to grow even multifold because a lot of the initial year time have gone in scraping the assets. Now it's time to really start using those assets in a big way. So I guess some of the bottlenecks in waiting, for example, for an equipment to come up to speed all that is now gone away. So you should be able to rapidly respond to needs. I IACMI success will also be dependent upon the speed to responding to opportunities in terms of taking a need from a company or industry and actually developing the solution. So that is going to make it a continued resource for the end users to come to IACMI and be available there for a reason. So, IACMI will continue to be the central source of force in the technology for composites and still be very complementary to the work done by like ACMA, SAMPE, ACC and other organizations like SPE, and be a force in the industry as the place to go to for getting problem solving in composites. So that's kind of how I see the overall picture.
DB: I would second what Uday just said. My vision for IACMI, in addition to growing our membership base, our consortium membership base, from the current 150 level to maybe 250 or so in five years, is, you know, we had one of our members, I think, put it very succinctly: anyone looking for a solution should know that IACMI is the place to go for composites. So it's really important that, you know, we can we can connect people who have needs for a solution to the providers of those solutions. And in so doing, we're kind of promoting a strategy, what we call the three C's. First is convening, though convening the full scope of the composites ecosystem together and share ideas and successes, like you talked about with the members meetings, you know, getting those people together. The second is connecting. So, connecting those seeking help, with those that can help, and then knitting together supply chain partners, you know, from the SMEs all the way to the OEMs. And then, finally, third C, catalyzing innovation and commercialization through focused technical projects and developing skill sets among current and future workers.
JS: Uday, you mentioned small companies as important to the IACMI model, and I'm wondering if you could expand on that. I assume it's because small companies are often strapped for resources and maybe benefit most from the networking, but I'd like you to talk just a little bit more about that.
UV: Yeah, sure. So, if you look at even the current examples, for example, where in this current model of IACMI several small companies, maybe employing six or eight people, as such, have specific ideas about how their material or technology would go forward. But, for example, they had not many resources available for doing all the design of experiments if they mix their specific materials and fiber with another type of fiber, being able to come up with some intermediate. How would that process, how would that mold, what kind of products may result from that? So I IACMI kind of provided the vision and the enabling structure to actually get funding possibilities to enable technology development in this case, these companies wish to do so. In one particular case, like I can say Resource Fiber was a partner in IACMI projects, a bamboo company working focused on bamboo products. But then looking at bamboo in combinations with carbon fiber and other type of thermoplastic resins, creating intermediates and now creating a whole range of opportunities. Everything from tractor trailer decking, ballistic panels, furnitures, you know, the market opportunities just become significant, right? So with investors looking at these, they were able to attract about $2 million in investment funding through some of the projects that are going on under the IACMI umbrella. So this is just one such example. We have similar things with Vartega, Greentex, Techmer, so many small company relationships that have now expanded beyond their starting points. And I think in the new model of IACMI, if we can say, enable this 10X over times, we were really making a huge impact in small industries.
JS: Well, Dale and Uday, I want to thank you for joining me here on CW Talks today. Congratulations on the fifth anniversary of IACMI and I wish you much luck and success with this organization as it moves into the future. So thanks again for joining me. I appreciate it.
DB: Thank you, Jeff, for having us on. And we certainly appreciate the great relationship we've developed with CompositesWorld and the whole Gardner Media structure to help get the news out.
UV: Yeah, Jeff. I appreciate that. It was awesome.
Fibers used to reinforce composites are supplied directly by fiber manufacturers and indirectly by converters in a number of different forms, which vary depending on the application. Here's a guide to what's available.
Recent technology announcements portend a new era of more efficient blade production.
All signs point to increasing demand from many market sectors. Will capacity keep pace?