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UTK Filament Tower Receives National Composites Award

Collaboration with UT FCMF students and College of Architecture continues to drive innovation in unique ways. Alex Stiles, PhD student at FCMF in collaboration with Dr. Marshall Prado (Architecture) designed and constructed a fiber-composite tower, The team used ingenuity, skill and a nine-axis robot at the Fab Lab (College of Architecture) and was recognized with a national Award for Composites Excellence (ACE) from the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA).

Read more by clicking the link below:-

UTK Filament Tower Receives National Composites Award

Fall 2021 Graduates & Welcome Spring 2022 Graduate students

Congratulations to Fall 2021 graduates- Shailesh Alwekar (PhD), Surbhi Kore (PhD), Mary Daffron (MS) and Saurabh Pethe (MS) :)-

Mary Daffron

Mary Daffron, MS Mechanical Engineering

Surbhi Kore

Surbhi Kore, PhD Mechanical Engineering

Saurabh Pethe, MS Mechanical Engineering

Shailesh Alwekar

Shailesh Alwekar, PhD Mechanical Engineering


We welcome our Spring 2022 graduate students!

 

Marc Al Ghazal MS student

Jeff Cargile, MS student

Akash Phadtare, PhD student

 

ACE (America’s Cutting Edge) – Composites Machining & Machine Tools

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Industrial Policy (IndPol) is enabling work in machine tools technology development for America’s Cutting Edge (ACE). This DoD-led initiative, funded through the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program, aims to revitalize the U.S. machine tool sector through transformative thinking, technology, and training. ACE has partnered with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) to deliver machining workforce training. As part of ACE, the FCMF has set up a HAAS VM-3 and Kuka robot machining centers to train and connduct research in composites machining and machine tools. In Summer 2021, the first of a series of workshops was offered to a team of 20 undergraduate students. The week long ACE-IACMI training covers – (a) basics of constituent materials – fibers, resins & composites; (b) basics of composites machining, (c) concept part and CAD creation, (d) machining of 2-cavity tool, (d) manufacturing of the composite part via injection or compression molding and (d) post-machining parts and quality inspection / NDE. To learn more or sign up for a workshop, please contact Vanina Ghossein, vghossei@utk.edu

For ACE workshop conducted in July 2020, click here

Leland (Lee) Slaven – A great loss!

Lee Slaven, Bamboo fiber technologist

FCMF grieves the loss of a great friend, colleague, mentor and collaborator. Leland (Lee) Slaven our most valuable partner passed away suddenly on December 05, 2021. Lee was a long-standing collaborator with UT, IACMI and ORNL in the area of bio-composites, particularly bamboo based economy. Lee worked with and mentored numerous FCMF graduate and undergraduate students & staff in his capacity as the Chief Technical Officer for Resource Fiber. Lee worked closely with a broad range of technologies ranging from truck trailer bamboo composite decking, railroad ties, ballistic infrastructure panels, automotive to sporting goods. We will miss him dearly. Thank you Lee for being a great friend, well-wisher and mentor.

ACE (America’s Cutting Edge) – Training & Workshop in Machine Tools

FCMF students at ACE training

FCMF students at ACE workshop

The Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Industrial Policy (IndPol) is enabling work in machine tools technology development for America’s Cutting Edge (ACE). This DoD-led initiative, funded through the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS) Program, aims to revitalize the U.S. machine tool sector through transformative thinking, technology, and training. ACE has partnered with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), and University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) to deliver machining workforce training. As part of ACE, the FCMF has set up a HAAS VM-3 and Kuka robot machining centers to train and connduct research in composites machining and machine tools. In Summer 2021, the first of a series of workshops was offered to a team of 20 undergraduate students. The week long ACE-IACMI training covers – (a) basics of constituent materials – fibers, resins & composites; (b) basics of composites machining, (c) concept part and CAD creation, (d) machining of 2-cavity tool, (d) manufacturing of the composite part via injection or compression molding and (d) post-machining parts and quality inspection / NDE. To learn more or sign up for a workshop, please contact Vanina Ghossein, vghossei@utk.edu

For more details on ACE workshop conducted in July 2020, please click here.

NSF IUCRC – Center for Hybrid Materials Interfacing (UT-Georgia Tech-Oakland University)

NSF IUCRC Center on Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing

UT FCMF is pleased to announce it is now a NSF IUCRC site… Details below.

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Center for Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing (CHMI)

A National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)

University of Tennessee – Georgia Institute of Technology –  – Oakland University

Mission and Vision of the CHMI Center

The mission of the NSF Center for Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing (CHMI) is to leverage collaborations among industry, government, and academic stakeholders in materials and manufacturing industries to advance science and technology, and develop workforce in the field of interface engineering and joining/bonding of hybrid materials and structures. The three-university (Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Oakland University (OU), and University of Tennessee/Knoxville (UTK) collaborative research team will work closely with the industry members to develop and disseminate basic and applied, pre-competitive research on methodologies, technologies, and tools that will facilitate rapid, reliable, and cost-effective composite and hybrid materials joining and interfacing. The mission scope benefits various sectors – automotive & transportation, ground & air vehicles, marine structures, wind turbine blades, infrastructure, oil & gas, and industrial applications.  Hybrid/multiple material systems including reinforced composite, metals, and other structural materials are within scope. The vision of the CHMI Center is to transform the current labor-intensive, experience-based joining and repair practice into fast, automated, and reliable processes enabled by advanced analytical, computational, experimental, and digital techniques and tools. The goal of the CHMI Center is to significantly reduce cost, cycle time, and variation (by at least 50%) of related operations within 10 years.  The CHMI comprises – Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI), University of Tennessee (Fibers & Composites Manufacturing Facility, FCMF) & Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and OU’s Fastening and Joining Research Institute (FAJRI) along with their industry networks for dissemination and technology transition of the enabling technologies for composite and hybrid materials joining and interfacing.

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UT-IACMI add Automated Tape Placement Capability

Automated tape placement laying up C/PEEK tape

IACMI-UT has enabled Automated Tape Placement (ATP) equipment in Knoxville, adding significant integrated manufacturing capabilities to the East Tennessee region. ATP is a family of manufacturing techniques, which refer to the precise laying of continuous fiber tapes to manufacture multi-layered composite products for high-performance applications. The features of the equipment are:- (a) Head with compaction roller; (b) Thermoplastic tape and/or thermoset tow-pregs feeding system; (c) Robotic mechanism holding the head; and (d) Human machine Interface. The ATP commissioned by IACMI has an Automated Dynamics (Trelleborg) 6-axis Kawasaki Model ZZX130LD CNC Robot to feed thermoplastic tape and/or thermoset tow pregs. Materials ranging from carbon (C), glass (G) /polypropylene (PP) to C or G/Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and C/epoxy can be used. The equipment is flexible in terms of different mandrels including – cylindrical, flat and asymmetrical shapes. Custom shapes can also be produced through the CAD interface with additively printed mandrels. The ATP will be used in IACMI stakeholders and collaborator projects as well as broad workforce development efforts. The next generation workforce of graduate and undergraduate students will receive state of the art training with the ATP asset and stem tangible technology innovation. This technology has immediate benefits for the aerospace, defense, high-performance automotive, infrastructure, and power transmission sectors. Any industry partners or IACMI members interested in learning more about this technology should contact IACMI CTO, Dr. Uday Vaidya at uvaidya@iacmi.org

 

50000 Face Shields for COVID-19

Proud of our team in their dedication and effort to produce 50,000 face shields for the University of Tennessee (UT) campus in response to Covid19 needs. Every student, staff and visitor will receive a UT-shield, a brilliant patented design by Dr. Maged Guerguis, of the College of Architecture.  Our own Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) team was responsible for the engineering, development and production of the face shields. Each face shield features an injection molded ergonomic lightweight frame and a snap-fit PETG visor. The product can be used 1000s of times, and cleaned with soap-water, alcohol wipes and other methods of sterilization. A 2-cavity injection molding tool and steel-rule dies were used to produce the components. A 100% closed-loop recycling strategy was developed by fully recycling the PETG scrap into flakes of aspect ratio suitable for producing additional parts with the recycled PETG.

Thanks to the UT Chancellor’s office, IACMI-The Composites Institute, Eastman Chemical Company, UT College of Engineering & College of Architecture and all our students & staff (led by Stephen Sheriff and Joe Gausphol) who helped with this major undertaking.

If you are interested in a complimentary face shield, please write to Vanina Ghossein, vghossei@utk.edu.

 

 

Funding Opportunity For Veteran Graduate Student / Graduate Assistant At FCMF

The Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) has graduate assistantship opportunities for US Armed Forces Veteran student(s). This will be an excellent opportunity to advance your graduate, networking and community support skills.

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Currently admitted to the Graduate School in an Engineering Field

2. Be a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

3. Be in good academic standing

4. Be registered full-time for the respective semester (nine semester credit hours during the fall semester, nine semester credit hours during spring semester), or in the required number of semester credit hours to fulfill the only remaining requirements on the degree plan.

Preferred: Graduate Assistant in Mechanical Engineering (or related field) interested in composite materials research. Student should be interested assessing STEM education programs for veterans.

Maximum appointment is limited to twenty (20) hours per week.

Discipline Specific Required Qualifications

The Graduate Assistant assistantship award is available to master’s and doctoral students who are assigned to a specific faculty member. Duties are split into two categories.

1) Duties related to SERVE (Shaping Experiential Research for Veteran Education), a veteran’s program in partnership between UT Knoxville and UNC Charlotte. These duties will include but are not limited to:

a. Working with faculty and preparing URE (Undergraduate Research Experiences) projects at UTK.

b. Planning travel between UTK and UNCC for program participants

c. Planning and coordinating housing for student participants at UTK

d. Assisting evaluation team with gathering information on program participants

e. Assist faculty in various administrative tasks

f. Developing and publishing marketing material on program

g. Giving program orientations and holding interest meetings to veteran undergraduate students

h. Co-authoring research papers (Engineering and/or Education) with faculty

These duties will be a small portion of the GRA hours during the normal semesters (~5 hrs/wk) but will be substantial during the summer months (~15-20) and may include several trips between UTK and UNCC to monitor the progress of the program.

2) Duties related to the student’s field of study and will vary depending upon the project and assigned responsibilities. Graduate Assistants may also function as lab assistants, graders, for creative activity, and/or other endeavors that assist faculty members in the department’s instructional efforts.

If you meet the above and are interested– please contact Dr. Uday Vaidya, uvaidya@utk.edu and include a resume.

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