ACMA Pushes for Industry-Wide Composites Recycling and Sustainability at Its First Recycling Conference

ACMA, an industry thought leader in composites manufacturing, pushes for the advancement of composites recycling through innovation and technology last …

ACMA, an industry thought leader in composites manufacturing, pushes for the advancement of composites recycling through innovation and technology last month in Knoxville, TN.

May 1, 2018 ( Arlington, VA) – On April 12, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) concluded its first ever Composites Recycling Conference with nearly 90 industry professionals, leaders and experts from around the world. The inaugural event, held in Knoxville, TN, on April 10 – 12, 2018, focused on composites recycling and sustainability with networking, education, and new technology and business developments to advance composites recycling in the composites manufacturing industry.

ACMA President & CEO, Tom Dobbins said, “The success of this important conference would not have been possible without the strong support of our industry. ACMA recognizes the importance of this issue for our members and the entire industry. Right now, our industry has a tremendous opportunity to reduce overall costs and better compete with traditional materials like steel and aluminum, and education is essential to have a full picture of what’s happening in composites recycling today and clear forecast for what’s next.”

The conference program featured panel discussions and presentations from companies, including Boeing, Owens Corning, the Composite Recycling Technology Center, EuCIA, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, University of Strathclyde, Ashland, and ELG Carbon Fibre. Notable sessions focused on how recycled composites can be used to create products that have purpose and value. The comprehensive program addressed a range of topics, from recycling and reusing thermoplastic and thermoset CFRPs to state-of-the-art recycling technology.

Four dynamic companies exhibited their latest recycling technology and products. Jeff Austad of Ventilation Solutions, a conference exhibitor and sponsor said, “We were pleasantly surprised with the conference. It was very informative and had a good mix of customers, suppliers and academia…we really wanted to understand more about composites recycling and what role we could play in the overall process.” Industry suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers met with exhibitors, asked questions, and gained hands-on experience with recycled products during networking breaks.

As a bonus, over 30 attendees toured three dynamic facilities: IACMI — The Composites Institute Lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, and Local Motors. The participants witnessed how government funded laboratories are addressing their unique challenges and making strides, including developing a robust and scalable composite recycling methodology as well as how a local manufacturer is creating products from recycled carbon fiber.

With strides in composites recycling within the industry recently, this timely conference promoted greater awareness, product development, and industry collaboration. A list of attending companies, exhibitors and sponsors, the full conference program and onsite guide are available on the conference webpage.