2020 ACE Award Winners Announced

2020 Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) Winners Announced at CAMX 2020

September 24, 2020 (Arlington, VA) – The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) announced the winners for the Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE), sponsored by Composites One. The ACE is a prestigious composites industry competition that recognizes outstanding achievement and innovation in design, manufacturing, and market growth. The winning entries were announced virtually at the seventh annual CAMX-The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo.

In the Design category, the Most Creative Application Award went to the University of Tennessee for UTK Filament Tower.

The UTK filament tower was the first composite structure featured at Exhibit Columbus, a biennial event where designers create outdoor installations and experiences. A team of  23 students, faculty, and staff used a nine-axis robot and a novel coreless filament winding technique, which eliminated the need for a surface mold, to construct the 30-foot lattice tower. It featured 3D-printed composite bases and 27 composite components, each weighing between 5-30 lbs. and measuring 3-8 feet in length. The project explored computational design and robotic fabrication of composite structures for architectural applications, highlighting the unique aesthetic qualities of carbon and glass fiber.

In the Manufacturing category, the Equipment and Tooling Innovation Award went to the University of Delaware for 3D Printing Continuous Carbon Fiber/Thermoset Composites.

The University of Delaware Composite & Additive Manufacturing (CAM) Laboratory has developed a localized in-plane thermal assisted (LITA) 3D printing technique to fabricate continuous fiber reinforced thermoset composite parts. The 3D printing technique is based on a robotic system consisting of printing head, liquid thermoset resin dispenser, and heater. This 3D printing technique allows thermoset polymer liquid with a controllable viscosity and degree of curing to enable its fast and near-simultaneous infusion and curing to implement in situ solidification of composites into arbitrary shapes. A wide range of thermoset polymers and fibers (e.g., carbon, glass, and Kevlar) could be applied.

The Manufacturing category also features the Materials and Process Innovation Award which went to TRB Lightweight Structures Ltd for Fast Press Cure, A Disruptive High Volume Composite Manufacturing Method.

TRB has developed a fully automated and vertically integrated process to unlock composites at scale, resulting in the manufacture of complex components in a fraction of the time of traditional hand layup. It works with carbon fiber, glass, hemp and other composite fiber materials and can incorporate EMI shielding, thermal insulation, high voltage insulation in the layup process, to enable the right material mix and structure for a wide variety of components. This innovation means that for the first time, composites can meet the cost, velocity, and quality requirements of the electric vehicle industry.

In the Market Growth category, the Composites Sustainability for Market Growth Award went to LyondellBasell for Composite Manhole Covers Solve Iron Problems.

With rising construction activities worldwide, the manhole cover market is expanding.  Through the collaboration between LyondellBasell and Composite Access Products (CAP), composite solutions are replacing traditional materials like metal and concrete used in manhole applications due to its superior properties like strength, corrosion resistance, and molding capabilities.   Through CAP’s compression molding process of LyondellBasell’s thermoset material, cost improvements and rapid production cycles are realized when compared to Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) and other fiberglass (FRP/GRP) casting processes.  This process enhances quality by reducing entrapped gas, ensuring a complete thermoset polymer cure, delivering fully impregnated fiberglass, and eliminating many post-process operations.

Finally, in the Market Growth category, the Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award went to the IYRS School of Technology for Heavy Lift Aerial Platform (HLAP).

The Heavy Lift Aerial Platform (HLAP) concept model has a range of applications from urban air mobility, commercial or military, including delivery of goods, observation, inspections, communications, search & rescue, or cinematography. This multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicle features a 29-pound primary airframe with an all-up flying weight of 61-pounds. The eight power units produce a load capacity of 103-pounds. The array of processes employed include: Direct tool CNC machining, prepreg fabrication, vacuum infusion, 3D printing and hollow form braiding.  The 3-year project has involved multiple generations of IYRS students engaged in CAD modeling, CNC operations, and fabrication of various platform components.

For more information on the 2020 ACE Awards, please visit http://go.pardot.com/e/545842/awards-/3lrnfx/492771117?h=w-WCviSSiuFQNm8nXaGez9LdXYL9kLrRDBPVCAdCv44


About ACMA
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is the world’s largest composites industry trade group. We are manufacturers, material and equipment suppliers, distributors, academia and end users, dedicated to growing the composites market. We serve our members and the industry by promoting the competitive advantage and versatility of composite materials. ACMA offers composites industry educational resources through our Education Hub, CAMX, conferences, webinars, and Certified Composites Technician (CCT®) program. We develop standards and specifications that drive preference for the use of composites in place of traditional materials. We lead advocacy efforts via legislative and regulatory channels to achieve a more viable composites industry. Together, we are shaping the future of composites.

The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE®), a global professional member society, providing enhanced educational opportunities by delivering information on new and advanced materials and processing technology. SAMPE provides growth and educational opportunities via conferences, exhibitions, technical forums, and publications. As the only technical society encompassing all fields of endeavor in materials and processes, SAMPE provides a unique and valuable forum for scientists, engineers, and academicians. SAMPE North America is a regional subsidiary of SAMPE serving Canada, Mexico, and the United States.