Accelerating Advances in Materials Science

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Last week, DuPont issued the following comments after U.S. President Obama announced the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), led by The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to become a national institute aimed at creating better composite materials and technologies for rapid deployment within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries. DuPont is among the consortium of 122 companies, nonprofits, and universities led by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

IACMI, the fifth named Institute in President Obama's vision of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), will work to develop lower-cost, higher-speed, and more efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for advanced composites.

"While this is a broad-based initiative, we see this as an opportunity to support advances in materials science that can help the automotive industry develop the next generation of low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles that are safe, affordable and fun to drive," said DuPont Performance Polymers President Patrick E. Lindner. "The need to commercialize the next generation of advanced-composite technologies requires step-change technology throughout the industry," he added.

"This public-private partnership can act as both change agent and catalyst to accelerate transformational technology, and DuPont is proud and excited to be a part of this team."

A 2014 survey sponsored by DuPont and conducted by leading industry publication WardsAuto found that half the automotive design and engineering community said they were only "moderately confident" in the ability of today's materials portfolio to help them meet 2025 CAFE standards. "This type of cross-functional collaboration can jump start innovation that leads to new materials, new manufacturing methods and new design tools that can move the industry beyond ambivalence," Lindner said.

Since the beginnings of the automotive industry, DuPont has been a pioneer in the development of advanced materials that today are used to help reduce weight, improve efficiency, enable electrification and advance the adoption of alternative powertrain and fuel systems.