You are here

Oak Ridge National Laboratory carbon fiber facility dedicated

News International-French

1 Apr 2013

ORNL starts a carbon manufacturing plant with a production capacity of 25 tons of carbon fiber each year.

The facility is designed to "scale up" laboratory research on low cost carbon fiber, make enough material to help industrial partners build prototype carbon-fiber composite parts, and develop a skilled manufacturing workforce.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says Oak Ridge National Laboratory's new carbon fiber manufacturing is an example of how the volunteer state can compete in a global economy.

"Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the partnership between Battelle and the University of Tennessee is one of our key competitive advantages," Haslam said this morning during dedication ceremonies at the West Oak Ridge facility. "If we can continue to compete with technologies like this, I'll take our odds for competing against anyone in the world."

Assistant U.S. Energy Secretary David Danielson says the facility is a key component for developing greater energy efficiency.

"Carbon fiber has the potential to cut the weight of the next generation of cars and trucks by more than 50 percent," Danielson said. "It can improve fuel efficiency by more than 35 percent without compromising on performance or cost."

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said carbon fiber has long been produced at Oak Ridge and the new facility enables the technology to move into a next generation.

"This remarkable material offers high strength, light weight and other attractive properties," Mason said. "The potential of carbon fiber in areas such as transportation, wind energy, medicine and electronics is driving a global search for less expensive ways to produce it."

More information: