Advanced Composites and the Future of U.S. Manufacturing and Dassault Systèmes

It’s not every day that a project you’re involved in gets announced by the President of the United States…but today is one of those rare days!

Dassault Systemes is proud to be a charter member of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), which was part of an announcement made by President Obama in Clinton, TN today.  The President’s speech focused on private industry partnerships that will modernize the country’s manufacturing capabilities. IACMI is a consortium of 122 organizations tasked with leading this revolution across the U.S. manufacturing industry.

The new institute the Department of Energy is awarding today will focus on cutting-edge research on advanced composites – such as carbon fiber – materials that are three times as strong and twice as light as the lightest metals.

  • Advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites, which combine strong fibers with tough plastics, are lighter and stronger than steel. Advanced composites are currently used for expensive applications like satellites and luxury cars.
  • Making these materials easier and more affordable to produce can enable their use for a broader range of products including lightweight vehicles with record-breaking fuel economy; lighter and longer wind turbine blades; high pressure tanks for natural gas-fueled cars; and lighter, more efficient industrial equipment.
  • Advanced composites are especially important for progressing clean energy generation.
  • In the wind energy industry, advances in low-cost composite materials will help manufacturers build longer, lighter and stronger blades to create more energy. By doubling the length of a turbine blade these materials can help quadruple the amount of electricity generated.
  • In automotive applications, advanced composites could reduce the weight of a passenger car by 50 percent and improve its fuel efficiency by roughly 35 percent without compromising performance or safety – helping to save American families more than $5,000 in fuel costs over the car’s lifetime.

This new initiative is focused on accelerating the development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for low-cost, energy-efficient manufacturing of advanced polymer composites for use in in vehicles, wind turbines, and compressed gas storage.

Dassault Systemes has been a leader in composites and we are thrilled to be a participant in helping to create the next generation of materials. To understand the full scope of what sustainable composite materials could mean to the U.S. manufacturing sector, watch this 3-minute video from the Dept. of Energy.

“Success in composites is all about bringing down the costs. […] Fundamentally, when you think about the advantage of a composite, it’s going the building block of manufactured products in the future.  Look at everything that’s made out of metal today, and envision it being made out of a composite, because it’s possible. The only reason it’s not made out of a composite is we haven’t taken the cost down enough.”

~Charles O. Holliday, Jr, Chairman, Global Confederation of Competitiveness Councils

For a real-life example of this program’s potential, check out this Shelby Cobra that was 3D-printed with advanced composite materials, making the car half its normal weight.

Shelby Cobra

For more information, see White House press release announcing the initiative, and Dassault Systemes’ press release. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll share more info about how Dassault Systemes is helping lead a resurgent U.S. manufacturing sector into the 21st century by assisting in the design and production of advanced composite materials.

Craig Blue of ORNL (L), Jimmy G. Cheek, Jimmy G. Cheek, Chancellor of the Univesity of tennessess   University fo Tennessee Chancellor of the University of Tennessee (M), Jim deVries, Global R & D Manager at Ford Motors
Craig Blue of ORNL (L), Jimmy G. Cheek, Chancellor of the University of Tennessee (M), Jim deVries, Global R & D Manager at Ford Motors

Image Credits:

Shelby Cobra via

Thumbnail Image of President Obama & Vice President Biden, and Group Photo courtesy of Rani Richardson

Suzanne Moran

Suzanne Moran

Suzanne is the lead communications person for Dassault Systemes in North America working out of Waltham, Mass. A Boston native, she's spent most of her career in B2B technology with an occasional foray into B2C. She really likes Wonder Woman.
Suzanne Moran
Suzanne Moran