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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.


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.

Economic Relevance and Impact of the CHMI Center and Research

Today, many structures and products from small cars to mega-ton aircraft and wind turbine blades are built using hybrid materials such as high-performance metals, polymer composites, and a wide variety of adhesives. Interface engineering and joining processes are commonly used in manufacturing and maintenance of such structures. Advanced technologies and tools for composite and hybrid materials interfacing are critically needed, as they have significant economic and societal impacts. The composite and hybrid interfacing technologies societal impact includes not only transportation safety, but also the country’s ability to improve national security by having well-maintained, ready-to-deploy military equipment. For other applications in automobiles, wind blades, and pressure vessels, joining and repair technologies directly influence lowering the manufacturing cost, reducing embodied energy, and increasing possibilities for post-life recycling of these complex multi-material structures.

Fit of the Center within the Industry and University Collaborative Scope

The GT team recently completed a technology roadmapping effort sponsored by the NIST AMTech Program on composite joining and repair with a consortium (CAIIAC) consisting of over 45 industry, government, and academic organizations. IACMI has a holistic roadmap (with over 150 member participants) for composite materials and manufacturing in areas of automotive, wind, and compressed gas storage – along with detailed mini roadmaps for multi-material joining and repair, recycling, embodied energy, noise vibration harshness & work force development. These roadmapping exercises concluded that it is imperative to establish a long-term, collaborative industry-government-academic partnership to address the challenges in joining and repair of structures involving composite and hybrid materials due to the rapid growth in their usage in various industry sectors.

Technical focus area (but not limited to):-

  • ICME and design for CHMI – Advanced mtls testing/characterization
  • Damage tolerance for CHMI – NDI for weak/“kissing” bonds detection
  • Digital twin for CHMI applications – Advanced sensing and structural health monitoring
  • Database, standards and qualification – Fast large-area structural inspection
  • Advanced materials (e.g. HT mtls for hypersonics) – IoT and digital technologies (e.g., AR/VR)
  • Surface engineering for CHMI applications – Diagnostics and prognostics
  • Hybrid-material joining process engineering – Cybersecurity for CHMI applications
  • Robotics and automation for CHMI – AI/machine learning tools for CHMI operations

Center Uniqueness

The CHMI Center is unique in the following aspects:

  • It will be the first public-private partnership for RD&D with a special focus on Composite and Hybrid Materials Interfacing/Joining;
  • It will develop and deploy digital and computational CHMI techniques to transform the current labor- intensive, experience-based industry practice into the new Digital and Intelligent paradigm;
  • It will build a strong partnership with IACMI, which brings in over 150 industry stakeholders and beneficiaries for the developed technologies. The CHMI Center synergizes with IACMI well, as they are complementary to each other, rather than having an overlapping or competitive existence. Furthermore, CHMI Center addresses R&D challenges of hybrid materials at TRL 2-4 whereas IACMI focuses on technologies for polymer composites in TRL 4-7

Benefits to Industry Members

  • A Tier I membership ($30,000/year) will provide the company/government organization a seat in the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) and a full vote for project selection;
  • Provides a CHMI technology repository and technology investment priority guide via CHMI technology  roadmaps;
  • Offers opportunities to collaborate on developing and gaining access to pre-competitive and cutting- edge technologies via CHMI projects and leverage industry dollars by sponsorship from other industry partners and NSF;
  • Identifies workforce training requirements in the fast-growing field and opportunities to interact with potential employees by working with CHMI sponsored students;
  • Provides cost-effective access to state-of-the-art R&D facilities and testbeds within CHMI; and
  • Offers networking opportunities to interact and collaborate with other leaders in the CHMI

Points of Contact (for IACMI-UT)

  • Uday Vaidya, PI (NSF IUCRC), University of Tennessee site,
  • Vanina Ghossein, Program Administrator, University of Tennessee site, CHMI-NSF IUCRC,



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