A unique manufacturing plant in west Oak Ridge that started operating about six weeks ago can make 25 tons of carbon fiber each year. It’s material that could be used for prototype parts in products ranging from cars and airplanes to wind turbine blades and natural gas tanks.
The $35 million Carbon Fiber Technology Facility at Horizon Center Business Park is designed to “scale up” laboratory research on low-cost carbon fiber, make enough material to help industrial partners build prototype carbon-fiber composite parts, and develop a skilled manufacturing workforce.
Carbon fiber is strong and lightweight, but it is also expensive and that has limited its use.
Officials hope to use the 42,000-square-foot Carbon Fiber Technology Facility to change that. They want to make producing carbon fiber as cost-efficient as manufacturing steel or aluminum. [Read more…]