This year’s lineup for CAMX Live! during the General Session features three innovators who have been on the front lines of engineering and design teams of companies using composites to reshape aerospace, construction and catamaran building.
“The CAMX Live! session is going to be particularly exciting this year,” says Steven Mead, chief commercial officer at TenCate Advanced Composites. “Disruptive innovation is not typically associated with the advanced materials industry. Today, however, we are witnessing a massive change in the pace of adoption and application of advanced materials, which is introducing the whole concept of disruptive innovation to the industry.”
Boom Technology, for example, is taking an entirely new approach to the commercialization of a supersonic aircraft, the XB-1, which in the past would have taken years. But with their unique approach, the company is condensing the process into a much more reasonable and affordable model by using carbon fiber composites from TenCate and 3-D printed components from Stratasys. When it flies next year, the XB-1 will be the world’s fastest civil aircraft, and it will demonstrate technologies that could make mainstream supersonic travel a reality. CAMX Live! attendees will have the chance to learn more about this application from Bryce Knight, the structural engineer leading the company’s aircraft structures division.
Down on the ground, an idea from another CAMX Live! speaker, James Antonic, could potentially change the way the world views construction. Instead of relying on skilled labor, why not build houses and other buildings the way Henry Ford built cars – through an assembly line? While the concept of creating modular housing through traditionally prefabricated parts isn’t particularly novel, doing it with composites is.
Antonic, president of Ft. Myers, Fla.-based Composite Building Structures, describes his work as “creating a new paradigm in building and construction.” For the past 15 years, he and his company have developed sustainable, pultruded GFRP composite panels to replace wood, steel and concrete and assemble these panels into custom buildings.