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East Tennessee Ecosystem in Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

East Tennessee Ecosystem Connectivity

The East Tennessee ecosystem  has unique and seamless integration across The University of Tennessee (UT), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and over 150 small, medium and large scale industry partners (national and international). The ecosystem is rich in entrepreneurship with mechanisms such as Innovation Crossroads paving the path for R&D leading to commercialization.

East TN ecosystem in advanced Materials & Manufacturing

East TN ecosystem in Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

The ecosystem’s technologies span across – Basic to Applied Sciences. The R&D spans Lab Scale to Intermediate Scale to Prototype – Small Scale to Commercialization – Service And End of Life technologies.  

1. Fundamental carbon fiber science @ ORNL

ORNL has world-renowned R&D in the fundamental science of carbon fiber. Some of the recent efforts include-

  • Low cost textile grade carbon fiber
  • Custom melt spinning
  • Activated carbon fiber
  • PAN and pitch based carbon fiber
  • Carbon fiber precursor science
Carbon fiber microstructure

Carbon fiber microstructure

Textile grade carbon fiber

Fundamental carbon fiber science

For more information – visit,


2. Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF) @ ORNL

CFTF is the world’s largest pilot scale carbon fiber R&D facility with 25 metric tons per year capacity. Flexibility to evaluate precursors, processing, sizing, packaging and intermediates. The CFTF has pioneered low cost textile grade carbon fiber with 300-600k tow count.

Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF)

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3. University of Tennessee (UT) 

UT is a the flagship university in Tennessee with over 26,000 students. There are several synergistic facilities that make up the UT advanced materials and manufacturing portfolio. About 40 graduate and ~100 undergraduate students work in advanced materials and manufacturing (composites, metals, additive manufacturing etc.) any given semester. The students range from various disciplines such as – Mechanical, Materials, Civil, Nuclear, Chemical, Biomedical, Aerospace, Agricultural, Bio-resources Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Architecture, Health Care to name a few.

  • Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) (IACMI-UT)
  • Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM)
  • Mechanical Characterization Facility
  • Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC)
Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility - IACMI-UT

Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility – IACMI-UT

FCMF students 2018

FCMF students 2018

For more information, visit  

4. Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF)@ ORNL

MDF @ ORNL is the world’s largest facility for comprehensive large and small scale additive manufacturing, metrology, machine tools, advanced composites, recycling technologies and holistic product development.

Manufacturing Demonstration Facility – 100,000 square feet of comprehensive additive, composites, recycling, machine tools and metrology technologies

For more information, visit –

5. IACMI-The Composites Institute

IACMI-The Composites Institute is a Manufacturing USA (MUSA) institute – unique in advanced composites, IACMI is headquartered in Knoxville and managed by Composite Collaborative Solution (CCS) with the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF). IACMI has key technology areas – (1) Tennessee – Materials & Processing Technologies; (2) Indiana – Modeling & Simulation Technologies; (3) Michigan – Vehicles Technologies; (4) Colorado – Wind Technologies; and (5) Ohio – Aerospace and Gas Storage Technologies. IACMA has 130 member partners (as of Jan 2021) and has executed `55 high value industry led technology projects. IACMI has created a national network of composites assets and addresses projects in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL 4-7).

IACMI-The Composites Institute headquartered in Knoxville, TN


IACMI technologies range from TRL 4-7 and TRL 1-3 based on project needs.


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