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Consortium for Manufacturing Innovation in Structural Thermoplastics (CMIST)

Goal: The CMIST consortium that will identify, characterize, and road map technical challenges to the adoption of thermoplastic composite materials as substitutions in primary structural applications, allowing U.S. manufacturers to bring solutions to market first.

Lead: University of Maine System Acting through the Univ of Maine
5717 Corbett Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5717

Award Number: 70NANB15H075

Federal Funding: $497,965

Project Duration: 24 months

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, in collaboration with Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Polystrand, and Royal TenCate, will launch CMIST to address the most significant manufacturing challenges to the use of thermoplastic composite materials for structural applications. CMIST founders will recruit members from across the United States to road map potential solutions to manufacturing of structural thermoplastic composites. Working groups consisting of material scientists, product developers, manufacturers, and potential end users will identify, characterize, and roadmap solutions to critical technical barriers.

Low in cost and weight, recyclable and corrosion resistant, thermoplastic composite materials are also strong enough to be used as a substitute in many primary structural applications, including ones in which aluminum once replaced steel in aircraft and automobiles. Such substitution has the potential to transform manufacturing. Global manufacturing competitiveness, historically dictated by raw-material costs and labor, can instead be dictated by efficiency, knowledge, and smart manufacturing. U.S. manufacturers intending to benefit from such a transformation face two challenges: technical issues and competitive market threats. Technical issues include: realizing faster manufacturing cycle times; developing fast and reliable thermoplastic joining methods; and characterizing thermoplastic composites for desired performance and economical manufacturing. The vision and applied research that results from this planning mission will help U.S. manufacturers bring their products to market faster and in advance of global competition.

For project information: David Erb, (207) 581-2308, david.erb [at] (david[dot]erb[at]maine[dot]edu)

Funded Participants:

  • None

AMTech Project Manager: Jean-Louis Staudenmann, (301) 975-4866, jean-louis.staudenmann [at] (jean-louis[dot]staudenmann[at]nist[dot]gov)

Created April 13, 2015, Updated April 10, 2019