Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website. See the original post here.
Three times as strong and twice as light as the lightest commonly used metals, advanced composites have the potential to revolutionize advanced manufacturing, transforming clean energy products from wind turbines to next-generation passenger vehicles that are made right here in America. These versatile composites are currently used for satellites, airplanes and luxury cars, but by driving down costs and making these materials more accessible to manufacturers across a number of industries, we can make virtually any product made out of metal lighter, stronger and less expensive.
Supporting the further development of these advanced composites will help give America’s resurgent manufacturing sector a more competitive edge in the global economy. After a decade of decline, American manufacturing is coming back, adding 786,000 new jobs since February 2010. Today’s new action is the kind of investment we need to build on this progress, creating the foundation needed for American manufacturing growth and competitiveness in the years to come.
That is why the Obama Administration announced today that the University of Tennessee will lead the Energy Department’s new Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Advanced Composites. Headquartered in Knoxville, the institute will focus on making advanced composites less expensive and less energy-intensive to manufacture, while also making the composites easier to recycle.