ACMA and Member Companies Meet with NIST to Help Composites Industry Overcome Barriers

From February 8-9, 2017, after meeting with Members of Congress and agency leadership on Capitol Hill, participants in the American Composites Manufacturers Association’s (ACMA) annual Infrastructure Fly-in event met with a wide array of end users at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for a workshop focusing on the barriers to the commercialization of composites in infrastructure applications.

“This workshop gave us at NIST a clearer and more detailed picture or the range of applications that our stakeholders are working on for FRP composites,” said Jeffrey W. Gilman, PhD, Composites Project leader, NIST. “We were able to accomplish that thanks in no small part to the cross-section of people ACMA brought to the table.”

The workshop welcomed 60 people, including academics, designers, owners, agency officials and representatives from all levels of the composites industry. Together, the workshop’s participants identified that the most common barriers included composites training and education, codes and standards, composites durability and service life prediction, and testing. ACMA hopes to work with NIST in the future to gain additional insights and to develop standards for composites in infrastructure.

“In addition to giving NIST a deeper understanding of the composites industry, we feel that the workshop was a great step toward identifying what needs to happen in order for our members to gain further traction in the infrastructure market,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. “ACMA and its members now have a better understanding of the challenges end users face and how we can overcome those obstacles.”

Within the coming months, NIST will issue a final report recapping insights from the workshop, which will be made available to ACMA members.

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