The Dow Chemical Company ( DOW ) announced that it has been selected by the Obama Administration for setting up the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation ("IACMI"). This project will be completed in partnership with Dow's joint venture, DowAksa, and a conglomerate of composites-related businesses, academic leaders and government organizations.
The institute will help in the advancement of knowledge and commercialization of carbon fiber composites technology to cater to the market demand for strong and lightweight materials. IACMI will create a platform for overcoming technological and cost-related constraints while applying carbon fiber composites in different industries like pressure vessel, infrastructure and wind, and automotive.
For example, a joint development deal was signed between Ford and DowAksa for manufacturing low-cost, light-weight carbon fiber composites for use in next-generation vehicles. IACMI can provide the technical platform at a lower cost for this kind of innovation, helping develop low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber composites.
DowAksa, a 50/50 joint venture between Dow and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S., was formed in 2012. Turkey-based Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii is among the world's largest manufacturers of acrylic fiber.
Dow's role in IACMI is significant as the institute will assist in the creation of innovative technologies which will help attract high-volume industrial markets. Moreover, IACMI can help Dow to grow its business with partners like Ford further by meeting the requirements of light-weight automotive parts.
Dow is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.
Better-ranked companies in the diversified chemical space include Kronos Worldwide, Inc. ( KRO ), Air Products & Chemicals Inc. ( APD ) and Johnson Matthey plc ( JMPLY ). While Kronos Worldwide sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Air Products and Johnson Matthey carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).