LI composites center, national consortium in deal

The BMW 7-series sedan: The Germans get composites.

The nation’s largest composites consortium has signed a collaborative agreement with Plainview’s Composite Prototyping Center on Thursday in a deal that could be worth $250 million in contracts and grants.

The agreement provides the framework for collaboration in research, product development, commercialization, workforce training and STEM education.

Advanced composite materials — such as carbon fiber — are up to three times as strong and twice as light as the lightest metals used most current manufacturing. In the automotive sector, advanced composites could cut the weight of a passenger car in half and improve fuel efficiency by roughly 35 percent without compromising performance or safety. The materials, common in aircraft manufacturing, are just starting to be used by automakers, including BMW, which has used composites extensively in its 2016 7-series sedan.

IACMI is a public-private partnership created as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and operates under the auspices of the Department of Energy. It focuses on developing lower-cost, higher-speed, and more efficient manufacturing and recycling processes for advanced composite materials. The Plainview center, operated by LIFT and funded by the state, was launched to promote advanced composite technology use in industry by providing access to training, technology, prototyping and testing resources.

“Our Long Island manufacturing facility is equipped with state-of-the-art systems to support composite production needs,” said Leonard Poveromo, executive director of CPC. “This pact marks a tremendous opportunity to join the IACMI consortium and combine our efforts in areas of mutual interest like research, employee training, STEM education and economic growth.”

The three-year, in-kind agreement is effective immediately. The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Assistant Secretary Dr. Kathleen Hogan of the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel and local officials.