Composites & Advanced Materials
Maine's composite industry is comprised of diverse organizations delivering innovative and quality design and manufacturing services for the marine, automotive, aerospace, defense, architecture, and industrial industries around the world.
This sector and its industries are grounded in a clearly defined set of knowledge and skills that are strongly identified with Maine. There is strong evidence of entrepreneurship in the historic boat building industry, which has adapted to new market conditions, and in companies looking to find new markets for products made from composite materials. There is a substantial critical mass of commercially successful firms selling their products in global markets.
Maine’s Composites & Advanced Materials cluster has four sub-clusters which intersect with several other Maine industry clusters:
Alternative Energy and Turbines
The growth prospects for this industry are strong and Maine is well-positioned for success. Ocean Renewable Power Company is developing breakthrough technology and projects that harness the power of the world’s oceans and rivers to generate clean, predictable, and affordable energy.
Defense and Aerospace
Applied Thermal Sciences, Inc utilizes advanced research and development methods to find solutions to engineering and design challenges for government and industry. This industry sector is driven by several major employers including Pratt & Whitney and Bath Iron Works (General Dynamics)
Boatbuilding and Related Industries
This is a specialized cluster in Maine led by Hodgdon Yachts which builds high quality, state of the art, and custom built composite yachts. A deeper dive into boatbuilding can be found in the overview of the Marine Technology & Aquaculture cluster.
Maine is home to innovative firms involved with fiber materials and next generation textiles. New Balance Athletic Shoe is one of Maine’s top-fifty private employers. Tex Tech Industries began manufacturing engineered textiles in 1904 and has grown to be one of the world's leading needle and woven felt manufacturers. Conform Automotive (formerly Formed Fiber Technologies) is North America's largest manufacturer of needle punched nonwoven fabrics and polyester staple fibers.
Most of the companies in this sector cut across many of the sub-cluters. Custom Composite Technologies delivers large-scale composite manufacturing solutions to industry in the following targeted sectors: renewable energy, marine, defense, infrastructure, and architecture. Fiber Materials (FMI) is the leader in thermo-structural composites. Kenway Corporation has over forty years of experience manufacturing corrosion resistant FRP (fiberglass) products for industry,
The Maine Advanced Technology & Engineering Center (MATEC) is located on the Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) Midcoast Campus in Brunswick. It is home to SMCC’s Composite Science and Manufacturing program, while also housing SMCC’s pre- engineering program and the University of Maine’s Brunswick engineering program. MATEC is also the home to the Composites Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), which operates as a partnership between SMCC and the Maine Composites Alliance. CERL is equipped with cutting-edge precision analytical instruments that analyze the performance properties and behaviors of polymer-based materials and composites.