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May 13, 2012 | Tom Ballard

TruDesign in spotlight at Thursday’s composites meeting in Oak Ridge

Rick Spears and Michelle Love of TruDesign are the featured speakers for this Thursday’s Advanced Composites Accelerator (ACE) “cluster meeting” at the University of Tennessee’s Outreach Center, 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge.

Spears, whose diverse work in composites and carbon fiber was profiled on (, will be the third presenter in the once-a-month series that is focused on building interest in the composites industry and resulting jobs in the region.

The meeting runs from 8 to 9 a.m. The East Tennessee Economic Council is coordinating the series for Roane State Community College.

“Anyone interested in learning more about efforts to grow the composites industry in this region should attend the free event,” said Lindsey Twardy, VETEC Vice President.

During the group’s last meeting, Jeff McCay of Top Five and the Composite Applications Group (CAG) described the focus that he and his partners have on “markets that don’t use it (carbon fiber or composites) today.”

He said that CAG is a “consortium of member companies” that covers the full spectrum of product development “from concept to final design and into manufacturing. We are a one-stop shop.”

McCay said that the CAG team works on application selection, concept and design, prototyping and testing, and processing and equipment. The individual CAG members have expertise in carbon fiber, pultrusion, injection molding, filament winding, compress and resin transfer molding, and R & D.

“We are focused on non-traditional markets,” McCay said, citing heavy equipment, infrastructure needs like underground piping, and automotive and transportation.

“The pressure vessel market is a big opportunity,” he added.

During his presentation, McCay showed those in attendance examples of prototype components made from composites rather than the traditional aluminum or stainless steel.

For more information about the ACE Accelerator monthly series, go to

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