PORTLAND – The Maine composites industry is changing the way we think about composites. Traditionally associated with boats and yachts, Mainers may not think about composites, which are two or more materials bonded together to form a strong and lightweight structure, as a high tech Maine industry. However, innovative members of the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) have challenged the traditional view of these materials winning recognition in the 2010 Technology Awards sponsored by Tech Maine for designing and creating marine infrastructure components, innovative wind and wave energy technology, and cutting-edge military crafts.
Members of MCA that earned recognition are:
Martin Grimnes, president of Harbor Technologies, LLC, was recognized by Tech Maine as CxO or Chief Technology Officer of the Year for being â€śthe perfect example of a CEO that is consistently successful, leads by example, creates unique opportunities for his company and has fun doing it.â€ť Harbor Technologiesâ€™ composites are used in the manufacturing of docks, piers, marinas, sea walls, pilings, and most recently, to build bridge beams as an alternative to heavy steel. In 2008, Harbor Technologies tripled the size of its manufacturing space to 30,000 square feet, and added state-of-the-art pultrusion machinery to produce marine pilings of any length.
Ocean Renewable Power Companyâ€™s (ORPCâ€™s) tidal energy technology was recognized for Product of the Year for creating breakthrough tidal energy technology and leading the nation in the development of clean, predictable, affordable power from the ocean. ORPC is creating jobs and other economic benefits for Maine, and will bring millions of dollars of new investment to the state through sustainable development of an indigenous Maine resource. ORPC is a member of the MCA and several of its fellow members helped to create components of its technological solutions.
Richard â€śDickâ€ť Akers, of Maine Marine Composites, was recognized as a finalist for Technology Innovator of the Year by Tech Maine for his success â€śin combining electrical engineering, software development and naval architecture to provide new tools and solutions for both marine craft design and the emerging offshore energy industry.â€ť Akers has recently been involved in such varied projects as the design and optimization of the Combatant Craft Medium for the US Special Operations Command and the design and optimization of a wave energy conversion device developed for Resolute Marine Energy. If it floats on, or moves through, the water, he can contribute to the design.
About the Maine Composites Alliance
Maine’s composite industry is comprised of innovative and high-quality design and manufacturing firms serving the marine, automotive, aerospace, architecture, and industrial industries in the United States and around the world. In addition to being at the core of the stateâ€™s world-class custom yacht and boat building industry, Maine composites have become high-tech and are used in the manufacturing of docks, piers, marinas, sea walls, pilings, and most recently, to build bridge beams and as an alternative to heavy steel and concrete.
Composites are increasingly the material of choice because they are environmentally friendly while offering significant performance improvements. Traditional materials such as wood, steel, and steel-reinforced concrete deteriorate, creating both environmental and structural problems. Composites are resistant to deterioration and offer the advantages of easier installation and the elimination of toxic coatings and chemicals used to improve corrosion performance of the more traditional materials. They also can be lighter weight to transport saving significant fuel consumption costs.
Composites technology in Maine reflects national and international growth rates of about 7% a year. Maine’s largest segments are boatbuilding, marine infrastructure, and construction materials. Over the next several years, wind energy, transportation, and construction are expected to be the dominant markets driving growth in the use of composite materials.
Contact Name: Vicki Worden
Telephone Number: (207)236-2920