While the Utah composites industry has long been associated with aerospace, things are beginning to change. The automotive sector is taking some serious interest in advanced materials, particularly composites.

In fact, in conjunction with Oakridge National Laboratories and the State of Kentucky, the University of Utah has been awarded a DoD grant to turn Utah coal into carbon fiber. The project extracts pitch from coal to make a low-cost carbon fiber, which can be used primarily in the auto industry.  Tests have been completed, product has been produced, and the process is on the path to success. The next step is to produce the carbon fiber in larger quantities to make it even more cost effective.

The supply chain mapping project through the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative or UAMMI is also progressing well. Over 100 companies have been identified and contacted, and the database to display company capabilities is nearing completion. This database will be a searchable repository for businesses to find partners or sources of supply for needed services. The tool will also provide visibility into current research activities. The database should be ready for industry tests in May, and it will be an invaluable source for companies to advertise their respective capabilities and capacities. If you’d like to be in on the ground floor of this testing, please get in touch. UAMMI is on a roll, and we want you along for the ride!