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Additive Manufacturing Simulation Workshop with AlphaStar

On May 8th, 2019, The University of Tennessee represented by the Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) hosted in collaboration with AlphaStar an “Additive Manufacturing Simulation Workshop” that focuses on “Hands on Experience with GENOA3DP”.

It was a free workshop for anyone who has FEM experience and wants to take their Additive Manufacturing process to the next level. Designed as a quasitraining experience for attendees, this event was the ideal way to understand the vast benefits of advanced simulation and how using GENOA 3DP toolset’s robust capabilities can provide predictive accuracy down to the micro-scale, reduce material waste & engineering time significantly, and achieve an optimum 3D printed build.

The workshop gathered attendance from local industries, faculty and students at UT. It was a success and FCMF will be hosting another workshop later in the fall of 2019.

Composites Coalition Holds Interactive Composites Manufacturing Training Seminar at FCMF

On Tuesday, January 8, a free Composites Coalition seminar was hosted at the University of Tennessee Fibers & Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF).

After a safety and facility brief, attendees learned the basics of composites processing using light resin transfer molding and vacuum infusion processes.  A short discussion was then had on all the advantages and disadvantages of each process, and a comparison to open molding took place.

Introductions were then made to the materials, the resin system, as well as the basics of vacuum and use of vacuum pressure in processing. Attendees set up and completed the vacuum Infusion project with instruction and were able to build small sample parts themselves. Challenges and opportunities in production methods opened the floor to additional discussion.

The session was led by Andrew Pokelwaldt of the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA). Pokelwaldt noted, “I thoroughly enjoyed using the Certified Composites Technician program from ACMA to promote local industry knowledge and future certifications for manufacturers.”

FCMF, IACMI and Team Integrating Composites into the Friendship Bell Park

On September 20, 2018, the city of Oak Ridge celebrated the Peace Pavillion Dedication and the first ringing of the International Friendship Bell.

The bell, which was cast in 1993, and the Peace Pavilion, created in 2018, symbolizes “a future being created by the ever increasing scientific and technological advances that benefit the world.” This new Peace Pavilion is a collaboration by many groups supporting the Oak Ridge community, including the City of Oak Ridge; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and IACMI – The Composites Institute.

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CAMX 2018 Outstanding Technical Paper – Best in Track

To be announced at CAMX:

The Technical Paper, “Calculating the Embodied Energy of Recycled Composites” has won “Best in Track: Green & Sustainability” in the Outstanding Technical Paper Awards for CAMX 2018.

1st author: Komal Kooduvalli, Research Supervisor I at University of Tennessee (UT) at the Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF)
2nd author: Georgiana Blue, Undergraduate Student, Resident Assistant Mechanical Engineer at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
3rd author: Dr. Uday Vaidya, Governor’s Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing, Professor in Mechanical Engineering-UT, CTO at IACMI
4th Author: Dr. Soydan Ozcan,Senior Scientist at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)

IACMI members meeting Tour

During the IACMI members meeting held in Knoxville on July 24-27, 2018, the Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF) hosted a tour on Friday July 27, 2018 for the members participating in the event. About 55 guests from different backgrounds, including Industries, DOD, DOE and IACMI interns attended this event. It was an excellent good opportunity for networking between the  members meeting attendees and the future work force. For more information on the IACMI members meeting which was attended by over 450 participants please visit

FCMF Open House, July 2018

The Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility-FCMF hosted an “Open House” event on July 11, 2018. The event was attended by over 130 guests from the Tennessee Ecosystem – UT, ORNL and IACMI researchers and leaders and industry partners.

About 15 Undergraduate and 15 graduate students led the tours had engaged  with the guests about their ongoing research and received valuable feedback. Several students also presented posters of their work.

Several  live demonstrations of key manufacturing processes such as SMC, Extrusion-Compression if Long fibers, laser cutting of fabrics and related work were also held.

The purpose of the event was to update the guests on the progress made by the FCMF in terms of critical investments through partnership with IACMI, ORNL and industry partners.

FCMF is engaged in large scale hybrid composites manufacturing innovation, extrusion-compression molding, resin transfer molding, sheet molding compounding, advanced manufacturing for recycling composites into useful products, natural fibers leading to green products to name a few. Graduate and undergraduate students interface with industry and benefit from experiential learning and work force opportunities.  Several programs such as the NSF IUCRC, Bredesen Center, MEP, IACMI internship program etc. are integrated with FCMF. The work applies to DOE, DOD, NSF and other agency relationships, MDF, CFTF & other units of ORNL,  IACMI projects, and other  industry sponsored efforts. The facility continually engages in STEM activities,  community colleges interactions and have a flexible business model to rapidly respond to industry needs.

The FCMF, SPE student chapter in collaboration with IACMI hosted two STEM events in June 2018

The Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility (FCMF), SPE Student Chapter at the University if Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the UT leg of Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovations (IACMI) hosted two STEM events for high school  students. Both these activities were led by our students and they included peer to peer education and an introduction to the World of Composites.

  • Monday, June 11, 2018:
    As part of the “Education and Workforce Development Program” / Summer Manufacturing Camp of the “Boys & Girls Clubs of  the Tennessee Valley”, 12 High schoolers visited the FCMF.
    The students had little to no knowledge in plastics, polymers and composites. During their visit, the UT students engaged them in several ways-

    • An introduction to what composites are and what we do at the school, and how the echo system works between industry, community colleges, university and the FCMF lab.
    • A tour to showcase the equipment, samples and demos with discussion with UT undergrad and graduate students
    • Experiential learning with hands on work to fabricate a composite snow sled. This activity included UTK-FCMF, IACMI,  with industry support in the form of equipment and materials by Magnum Venus Products (MVP), Chomarat, MAFIC and PolyNT respectively.
  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018:
    As part of the University of TN Vols Teach program in the College of Education, Health & Human Sciences, UTK is providing support to a group of high school students along with UTK undergrads involved in the TRIO program.
    The purpose of the visit was to expose them to emerging technologies in plastics, polymers, composites and additive manufacturing. The students were exposed to related career opportunities by touring the UT’s FCMF and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL.


FCMF Welcomes Summer UG and IACMI Interns

FCMF welcomes the following IACMI interns and UT undergraduate work study students who have joined our team for Summer 2019.

  • Ashley Herbers, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT
  • Benjamin Schwartz, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT
  • Brian Roberts, Stony Brook University, NY is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering, he is an IACMI intern
  • Eleni Golloshi, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT
  • Isaac Sloan, Colorado State University, CO is an undergraduate student in Business Marketing with a minor in Sustainable Energy, he is an IACMI intern
  • Justin Labelle, Michigan State University, MI is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering, he is an IACMI intern
  • Kah Choong, Undergraduate student in Material Science Engineering at UT
  • Keona Madison, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT
  • Molly Mays, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT
  • Sabrinna Romero, Humboldt State University, CA is an undergraduate in Environmental Resources Engineering, she is an IACMI intern
  • Samantha Ford, Chatham University, PA is a graduate student in Sustainability, she is an IACMI intern
  • Sarah Wheeler, Master Student in Architecture at UT, she is a UT Summer intern
  • Shannon Rearden, University of Alabama, AL is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering and in German, She is a UT Summer intern
  • Tyler Petersen, Undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at UT

These students are working on a diverse range of projects as they gain experiential learning and consider a professional career in plastics and composites. Their projects include functional composite helmet shells, life cycle analysis and embodied energy of composites, carbon fiber nonwovens, sheet molding compound, characterization of composite inserts, noise vibration harshness of self-reinforced composites, filament winding, natural fiber composites, modeling of composite preforms, and design of tools and molds for composite production. Our graduate student team and staff are closely working with these students as they gain experiential learning and contribute to the broad area of advanced plastics and composites.

ACMA Composites Recycling Conference Tour

The ACMA Recycling Conference tour hosted up to 30 visitors from various composites industries, educational institutes, and governmental agencies from all over the world on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

The 2018 Composites Recycling Conference brought in experts from the US and around the world to highlight the most relevant technology and business developments which are turning composites recycling into reality in order to support the development of a self-sustaining composited recycling ecosystem.

National Defense University Tour

As part of their Master’s Program industrial focus “Additive Manufacturing”, each year hundreds of students and faculty members from the National Defense University tour sites across the US and Europe to learn more about how government, industry, and academia collaborate to connect innovation research, intellectual property management, and the commercialization of these efforts within industry.

This March 1, 2018, ten senior military personnel holding the rank of either Colonel or Lt. Colonel on a path to become Flag Officers and Senior Executive Service (SES) members serving in the federal government visited our facility as part of their tour to ORNL, UT and IACMI facilities.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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