Background Image Alternative Text: MSU President Mark Keenum looks on at the Marvin D. Bow Ribbon Cutting

Mississippi State University’s Advanced Composites Institute (ACI)

Mission Statement

The mission of the Advanced Composites Institutes, or ACI, is to initiate, lead and facilitate high-utility, strategic programs that drive innovation and nucleate applied research and economic development in the composites industry via collaborative partnerships with universities, U.S. government agencies and industry associates.

About the Center

The Advanced Composites Institute is a highly respected university and industry applied research asset focused on pioneering transformational composite technologies in a variety of critical sectors. The Institute is equipped and positioned to support disruptive, transdisciplinary programs that address fundamental upstream and broader downstream needs in aerospace, civil, military, energy, automotive and other crucial emerging markets. The ACI is acutely attentive to genuine satisfaction gaps, trends and drivers in target markets and strategically invests in capabilities and expertise that align with acknowledged real-word problems. The ACI has direct access to world-renowned experts in composite technologies and is focused on sustainable organic growth in both capabilities and expertise. 

Statement of Goals 

The immediate goal of ACI is to enable and facilitate funded programs with MSU faculty and students from concept to customer collaboration, to technology transfer and technical service for scale-up to production. Other objectives include:

  • Drive organic  growth and strategic investments that align with industry trends and drivers
  • Support economic development via collaboration, technology transfer and entrepreneurship
  • Maximize the visibility and adoption of stitched composite technology as a value-added process
  • Articulate, create and capture the value of resin infusion processes and technologies
  • Deliver a comprehensive composite compendium service from design and conception to production and full evaluation certification
  • Develop materials, processes and equipment to enable low cost, high rate manufacturing
  • Serve as the focal point of inter-departmental research by providing a cooperative environment for direct exposure to leading technology experts
  • Serve as a workforce development and specific training center for advanced composite materials
  • Increase exposure to top talent for recruiting (faculty, students, visiting experts, etc.).

Facilities 

The Advanced Composites Institute, home of the revolutionary Marvin B. Dow Stitched Composites Development Center, member of the FAA Joint Advanced Materials & Structures Center of Excellence and proud partner with MSU's historic Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, occupies 52,000 square feet of applied research space in west Starkville near the George Bryan Airport.    

Our resources include:

  • 50,000 square foot development center
  • 28,000 square foot high bay 
  • 36-by-6 high-speed CNC flatbed ply cutter
  • Robotic stitching with 8-foot reach by 40-foot X-axis travel
  • Temperature and humidity controlled composite layup room
  • Automated 2-part, 100 gallon resin infusion system
  • 50-by-20 programmable curing oven to 400 F
  • 150-ton plate press curing tool
  • CNC and manual metal fabrication shop
  • Fully equipped lab-scale research area
  • 2-by-4 high-temperature, high pressure autoclave
  • Controlled and monitored access
  • Staff trained in export security control 

Research Areas

  • Delamination arrest features facilitated by methodical fabric stitching
  • Advances in infusion technology for rapid manufacturing of blended composite materials
  • Development of processes for bonding resin infused substrate structures
  • Fire forensic analysis and effects of biofuel exposure on aerospace composites
  • High char yield resins for carbon/carbon composites
  • Thread and fiber performance effects in stitched composites