LeMond Composites has entered into a global, exclusive 20-year licensing agreement with Deakin University in Australia to commercialize their patent-pending manufacturing process to increase production of high-performance, low-cost carbon fiber.
The licensed process will enable LeMond Composites to commercialize carbon-fiber production faster than anyone else currently in the marketplace. This means LeMond will deliver more of its low-cost carbon fiber, faster to industries that benefit from using lighter, stronger materials, like those addressing global energy (wind-turbine blades) and transportation challenges.
“Deakin University’s process oxidizes carbon fiber faster, with lower capital and energy costs and greater output of carbon fiber over a shorter period,” says Nicolas Wegener, COO of LeMond, who negotiated the $44 million dollar deal. “The process requires 75 % less energy and also reduces the amount of process equipment by 75 %. These factors make the production of low-cost carbon fiber scalable at a velocity that can keep up with the market demand.”
The team’s search for the most innovative, efficient, and cost-effective carbon fiber manufacturing process led them to this new technology and partnership with Deakin University.
The immediate result of Deakin University’s licensing is a low-cost carbon fiber product delivered in a standard format that is consistent with the requirements of today’s composite industry. This ensures quick adoption of LeMond’s low-cost carbon fiber, which will initially be commercially available as a manufactured product from the Carbon Nexus facility.
“The ability to scale production, along with our low-cost carbon fiber is what will allow LeMond Composites to deliver this material to the masses,” says Greg LeMond, three-time Tour de France champion and CEO/Founder of LeMond Composites. “Deakin University’s manufacturing process will make it possible to localize manufacturing and make carbon fiber technology more accessible to a wider range of industries like transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure or any industry that benefits from using lighter, stronger, safer materials.”
LeMond will begin construction of a new commercial carbon-fiber facility located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Construction will begin this year.
“This new technology could revolutionize the advanced manufacturing sector around the globe because it will make carbon fiber more affordable to produce, which will make it more accessible for consumers,” added den Hollander.
LeMond Composites is about to secure its first supply agreement with a commercial customer and will use the new process to manufacture and sell carbon fiber starting in September 2017.