Composites and Advanced Materials Expo Presents Innovations for the Future

The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX 2016), produced by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) took place in Anaheim, Calif. The composites event, which saw a 10 percent increase in attendance, united 7,987 people from the composites and advanced materials communities from 53 countries and every state in the United States. Over 1,000 new attendees made CAMX 2016 their first CAMX.

The exhibit floor space was occupied with 544 exhibiting companies and 302,000 square feet of exhibit space. For three days, thousands explored the hall with innovations impacting a range of markets, including automotive, 3D printing and recycling. Composites Manufacturing reported about exhibits, including the uBox, an electric, urban utility concept vehicle, designed by Clemson University graduate students and displayed at Teijin’s booth. The vehicle is designed for urban environments, appealing to generation Z consumers while meeting fuel economy standards. Other booths showcased sports and recreation applications, including a surfboard made with recyclable carbon fiber/epoxy composites at Connora Technologies’ booth.

In addition to the expo, the conference programming offered 254 sessions on topics covering every subject in the industry, with 313 expert speakers and 13 concurrent tracks of topics to choose from. This year’s event also featured new conference programs and features, including CAMX Live! – a general session panel of industry experts who shared insights on how composites are changing the world. Daniel Preston, the CEO of Luminati Aerospace, offered a virtual presentation about the possibilities for composites in aerospace and how they could make an impact on people’s lives in unexpected ways. Architect Greg Lynn painted a detailed picture of the future, which includes skyscrapers made with composites. Local Motors’ Gregory Haye shed light on how his company has pushed the envelope in the automotive sector with 3D printed vehicles and crowd sourced technology development.

“We believe CAMX attendees came away from the general session inspired by the things our panelists have been able to accomplish – and dream about – with composites,” says Heather Rhoderick, CAMX show director and senior vice president of events and information at ACMA.

In particular, CAMX 2016 hopes to inspire the next generation of composites and advanced materials innovators. At the CAMX closing luncheon, attendees heard insights from a panel of six students who envision a world where composites are as ubiquitous as pure plastics. The conference also featured poster sessions and technical papers from students highlighting ideas that could change how the world views composites. Students also had a chance to put their composites knowledge to the test during the inaugural CAMX Race.

“Watching and seeing professionals become excited about CAMX 2016 was a great opportunity for our industry to expose future industry leaders to what’s going on in our industry,” says SAMPE CEO Gregg Balko. “We want more young professionals to get excited about composites, and I think we’re on our way toward accomplishing that goal.”

For details on the CAMX 2016 activities, including awards winners and coverage on the event, see the website. CAMX 2017 will be held Sept. 11-14, 2017, in Orlando, Fla.

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