June 19-20, 2019


Chicago, IL


2 days


Thank you for a very successful edition of The Future of Composites in Transportation! The first event dedicated to the use of composites in the ground transportation industries.

The event took place for the first time June 27-28, 2018 in Chicago and attracted 600 professional visits and 150+ participating companies from 15 countries.

The event was built around a 2-day Symposium dedicated to the best use of composites in transportation, and an exhibition area with many features: B2B Meetings, Innovation Hub, Posters Zone, Job Center, Education & Skills Village, Exhibitors Reception. The satisfaction rate for this inaugural edition exceeded 85%.


Really like the "focused" intent of the forum. Unlike trade shows, this event gathers people who are interested in a single market with direct connections to the market.

Very satisfied with the meeting organization and the B2B meeting component.

The show is good in that it is focused and concentrated in transportation. Larger attendance and more diverse audience would be helpful.

This was a nice "first" edition. Hopefully it will grow each year.

I felt the separation of the symposium from the rest of the show - while it was an amazing room and very inspiring - also created a "detachment."

All the vendors that I talked to were very versed in the industries they were representing.

For more information about our next events in the U.S., please contact

Nicolas Baudry

North America Events Director


2018 Diamond Sponsors

2018 Gold Sponsors

2018 Speaking Companies

2018 Event Keynote Speech

Martin Bigras

New Material Development for Rail Applications

  • Why composite materials are a great fit for the rail industry
  • Challenges and issues faced by composites in rail applications, and envisioned solutions to further their integration into this industry
  • Overview of already existing composite parts in rail and future applications
  • How composites can help develop rail more in the U.S.

Symposium Program

With 20 presentations and 2 keynote speeches, the symposium covered subjects from light-weighting, to cost effective materials and manufacturing solutions, and environmentally friendly transportation means, thanks to 4 sessions taking place throughout the two days of the event.

Companies such as Bombardier, ELG Carbon Fibre, Faurecia, Ford Motor Company, Mercedes-Benz, Owens Corning, Porcher Industries, SGL Group, University of Michigan, Wabash National Corporation, and many more, presented their latest advances in front of a qualified audience.

Symposium Keynote Speech

Greg Beiser

Composites in the Clean Mobility Future

  • How can we use composite materials to shape the future of clean mobility?
  • What composites applications in the future of clean mobility?
  • What comes next? An outlook on composite materials in the future of clean mobility.

2018 Program

Composites: a First-Rate Solution for Transportation

  • Lightweighting
  • Cost-effective materials and manufacturing solutions
  • Increasing mechanical properties
Sanghamitra Sircar

Disruption in the Transportation Industry and Composites Usage

  • Mobility of the future: challenged by technology developments, environmental constraints, safety regulations
  • Composites as a solution for electric or autonomous vehicles
  • Light weighting at the right costs, through part consolidation and enhanced customer satisfaction
Camille Seurat

Recycled Carbon Fiber Based Bogie

  • Challenges of rail transportation: railway track damages, maintenance and fuel consumption
  • Combining the use of low cost recycled carbon fibers with low cost manufacturing techniques
  • Partial and full scale demonstrators manufacturing
Okan Otuz

Increasing the Quality of Simulations for Advanced Composites in Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles

  • Bridging the gap with measurements, to reach better lightweight performance
  • Detecting the effects of the parameters while manufacturing and being under road conditions
  • Case studies involving various plastic & FRP parts of trucks and buses

Networking break

Atsushi Miyata

Polypropylene Based Multi-Materials Composite Solution Offering to Transportation Industry

  • Improved fiber matrix adhesion resulting in higher mechanical properties
  • Combination of CF/PP-UD-Tapes with PP-compounds to enable a cost-effective solution for semi-structural automotive applications
Robert Lane

Truck Trailers & Bodies - Increased Composites Usage and Lightweighting in Commercial Transportation

  • Lowering costs for higher quality industrial grade composites
  • Offering significant weight savings, increasing structural loading, and improved thermal efficiency
  • Combining design and product, in order to optimize cube space while actually increasing mechanical and physical properties over standard refrigerated van products

Lunch break

Improving Performance and Efficiency - Part 1

  • Environmentally friendly transportation means
  • Reducing production costs
  • Using recycled carbon fiber
Amy Langhorst

Natural Fiber Composites for Automotive Applications

  • Using low-density natural fibers to reduce vehicle weight and carbon footprint of polymeric parts
  • Advancing with blue-agave fibers, a waste product of tequila manufacturing, as a lightweight polymeric reinforcement
  • Developing cellulose-glass fiber hybrid composites for semi-structural applications
Rich Maynard

Versatile Glass/Polyamide and Glass/Polypropylene Laminates for Rapid Processing and Recyclability

  • Study of the influence of the thermoplastic polymer on mechanical, thermal and aging properties of laminates
  • Allowing structurally equivalent parts to be produced with less material, contributing to a lighter vehicle with reduced fuel consumption
  • Excellent performance/weight ratio and performance/cost ratio, which are mandatory requirements for transportation applications
  • Recyclability and second generation parts
Kavish Bujun

Green and High Performing PET Core Solutions for Transportation Applications

  • Lighter, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly modes of transportation without compromising safety and durability
  • Fire retardant grades conforming to the most demanding requirements, namely in railway composite panels
  • Foam products tackling the design and manufacturing challenges of the automotive industry
Mihaela Banu

Green Composites - An Alternative for Environmentally Friendly Transportation

  • Natural fibers: remarkable mechanical properties, low cost, carbon-neutral nature and recyclability
  • High-performance multi-ply long bamboo fiber reinforced composites using compression molding
  • Mechanical and in-situ microstructural investigations aimed at characterizing their performance for manufacturing components for future transportation systems

Networking break

Sara Frattini
Ramesh Pisipati

Solutions for Rail Fire Resistant Composites

  • Cost-effective manufacture of composite parts that comply with fire safety standards
  • Reducing formaldehyde emissions without compromising fire safety
Alex Walk

Thermoplastic Composite Materials and Component Manufacturing Techniques for Transportation Applications

  • Developing manufacturing techniques capable of producing composite components for multiple vehicle components
  • Improved mechanical properties of the new carbon fiber coatings and the potential for these unique materials
  • Carbon Carrier developed by SGL-Bertrandt

Improving Performance and Efficiency - Part 2

  • Design, material, and manufacturing optimization
  • Saving weight and cost
  • Production efficiency
Tomasz Czarnecki

Saving Weight and Cost with Thermoplastic Honeycomb Technology - Continuous Production of Ultralight Sandwich Components

  • Developments by EconCore's licensee Wabash National
  • Organosandwich technology in automotive applications, including one shot thermoforming and functionalization sandwich panel processing
  • Perspectives of introducing thermoplastic sandwich parts in rolling stock applications -honeycomb based on FST qualified materials
Jason Cilio

Composites in Rail & Automotive - Light-weighting Solutions

  • Use of SikaAxson's urethanes product line in the live hinge and end caps of the new composite ramps ordered by Amtrak, following a redesign in order for gaps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Compression strength, strength-to-weight ratio, thread-holding capability, and long term durability
  • Providing fire retardant laminates that bring together safety and structural performance to the automotive and commuter transportation spaces

Networking break

Jim Nelson

Lightweighting Fiber Reinforced Composites Through Use of Nanomodified Epoxy Resins

  • Nanoparticle-modified resin system which enables lightweighting through superior property generation
  • Lightweight high performance driveshafts and compressed natural gas cylinders for commercial transportation
Travis Irwin
Brian Lucchesi

LRTM Production of Transit Bus Components

  • How 5 decades of industry leadership help in providing innovative composite vehicle structures to solve the complex problem of reducing weight and cost in transportation applications
  • Finding the right reinforcement for the performance requirements of those parts
  • LRTM specific reinforcements for maximum production efficiency
Erwan Tessier

Design of a Composite Vehicle Underbody Protection

  • Challenges of designing composite parts for automotive applications: material selection, optimization of the manufacturing process and part design itself
  • Creating competitive composite parts, producible at lowest cost, by carefully evaluating manufacturability
  • Using product simulation to predict process-induced local material properties

Lunch break

Manufacturing: Lowering Assembly Time and Costs

  • Parts integration: from multiple components to a single composite part
  • High performance thermoplastics
  • Towards large scale production
  • Reduced maintenance: easier handling and installation
Simon Baril-Gosselin

Overmoulding of Thermoplastic Composites for Structural Automotive Applications

  • Study of the interaction between the ribs and organo sheet
  • Development of guidelines for manufacturing cost-effective, high performance thermoplastic composites for high volume applications
Gaël Lavaud

Sustainable Automotive Production Thanks to Aerocell Composites Technology

  • Lightweighting without sacrificing safety
  • Reducing energy consumption by 40%
  • Making local assembly of the vehicles in micro-plants possible, thus minimizing manufacturing costs

Networking break

Russel Elkin

Sandwich Construction Provides New Design Solutions for Body Structure & Trim

  • Specific sandwich core materials enabling designers & engineers to meet functional requirements in automotive, bus, truck & rail applications
  • Supporting light-weighting trends
  • Short cycle lamination processes currently utilized for high volume, low cost part production
Alexander Chaloupka

In-mold Process Analytics - the Next Step for Intelligent and Robust Composite Manufacturing

  • Towards large-scale production thanks to process control
  • New sensor technology controlling the process allowing an optimal adhesion of dissimilar materials in a cascaded process
  • Already proven concept in the OPTO-Light project in association with BMW, KraussMaffei, AZL Aachen and others

B2B Meetings

JEC Group’s newly redesigned B2B Meetings service was a great success considering the positive feedback and the number of meetings organized over the two days.

With a 94% satisfaction rate, 124 meetings were held on the show floor in a pleasant setting overlooking Lake Michigan.


Kavish BUJUN from Armacell appreciated the fact that the program gave him “direct access to key customers and suppliers”.

John LEATHAM, Sales & Marketing Director at Chomarat North America, said he had been “introduced to contacts he would not likely have made otherwise”.


The exhibition area featured:

  • B2B Meetings

    Pre-arranged meetings available for all the participants.

  • Education & Skills Village

    JEC Group actively supports future generations by developing products and services for the benefit of students and universities around the globe.

  • Innovation Awards

    Over the years, the JEC Innovation Awards Program has involved and benefited nearly 2,000 companies.

  • Innovation Hub & Live Demos

    Discover the Innovation Showcase area featuring innovative industry capabilities on the show floor, and attend Live Demos.

  • Technical Posters

    A free poster session giving students, researchers and companies the opportunity to display technologies on any composites in ground transportation related subject.

Innovation Awards

Every year, JEC rewards the best cutting-edge and ingenious projects using composites to their full potential. Winning gives these endeavors a worldwide recognition thanks to a high quality, established brand.

This edition of the JEC Innovation Awards Competition aimed to reward the best cutting-edge and ingenious projects involving the use of composite materials in ground transportation applications.

The 5 following prizes all demonstrated excellence in categories ranging from passenger cars to heavy trucks, featuring namely: significant weight savings, innovative processes, unique designs, shortened process times and reduced costs.

Innovation Awards Winner


Company: Fraunhofer ILT (Germany)

Partners: Weber Fibertech (Germany), Werkzeugbau Siegfried Hofmann (Germany), Fraunhofer LBF (Germany), ScanLab (Germany), BMW Group (Germany)

Hybrid Roof Bow

The innovation enables the reduction of process costs while maintaining the part's performance by reducing material costs and shortening process times by integrating several process steps.

In the HyBriLight Project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, a consortium of 9 companies developed an innovative hybrid roof bow which demonstrates the successful implementation of novel laser-based processes for lightweight production. All basic information like dimensions and mechanical requirements of the demonstrator roof bow are based on the original part of the BMW 7 series. The participants in the HyBriLight project are the following: Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT (project coordination), Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF, Weber Fibertech GmbH, Werkzeugbau Siegfried Hofmann GmbH, Scanlab GmbH, BMW AG, Airbus Group Innovations, Coherent Dilas, Held Systems GmbH.

The roof bow consists of a fiber-reinforced plastic bar which is connected to two metal connecting plates which can be spot-welded to the car body. The connection between composite and metal is changed from adhesive joining and riveting to an innovative laser-based joining approach. Therefore, the metal connecting plates are pretreated with ultrafast lasers in order to create a spongy surface topography. The joining process itself takes place during a compression molding process of the plastic bar. The joining process is enabled by a special variothermal mould which allows preheating of the metal connection plates and process control via integrated sensors during the process.

The value created by this innovation is the reduction of process costs by decreasing process times by 70%, reducing costs for raw materials by 45% and integrating several process steps into a high-automated process while maintaining the components performance.


Company: Faurecia (France)

Partner: Hexion (France)

Lightweight Vehicle Underbody Protection

The innovation consists of a composite underbody protection achieving a weight saving of 53%, designed with a new FEA based preforming approach, with specific constraints such as complex shape, abrasion and impact.

For the automotive industry, weight saving is a key point to improve the energy efficiency of the vehicle. Today, underbodies of vehicles with off-road capabilities are protected from abrasion, stone chipping and object penetration largely by a steel plate which weighs 20 kg due to stringent road test requirements. This innovation replaces current steel underbody protection enabling a weight saving of 53%, with equivalent performance. The composite material definition answers to specific criteria as abrasion and impact behavior combined with a high level of stiffness. The complex shape of the part required a first industrial application of a new FEA based preforming simulation approach. This approach allowed us to use specifically developed woven and multiaxial fabrics with a combination of Aramid, Carbon and Glass fibers designed for complex shape preforming and to achieve maximum material and process costs optimization.

This innovation has very high market potentials to apply to off-road vehicles demanding high abrasion resistance, cracking resistance and stiffness. These may include luxurious sport vehicles with off-road capability, full off-road vehicles for terrain exploration and SUV and pickup truck using enhanced off-road capability as added value.


Company: TPI Composites (USA)

Partner: Proterra (USA)

Design and Fabrication of an Integrated Monocoque Composite 40ft Plug-in Electric Transit Bus

TPI Composites has designed and produced an all-composite monocoque plug-in electric bus body with Proterra. Engineers at TPI and Proterra collaborated in the design and development of a unique structural composite bus body. The Proterra “Catalyst” is a unique design which incorporates fiberglass and carbon fiber non-crimp fabrics and a modified vinyl-ester in a vacuum resin infusion process. Design innovations include the use of integrally infused carbon pultrusions to carry the passenger and battery load, limiting deflections between the wheelbase. A unique approach to direct front-end impact through the vehicle floor provides a level of protection not achieved in conventional metallic design or SMC bonnets. The Catalyst design creates a distinctive body style made possible by composite molding. Mass reduction of over 40% compared to the steel baseline enables unprecedented range. Unitary tooling and molding of the bus structure creates a distinct and unique body styling that is not possible with metal fabrication. The bus structure includes extensive use of sandwich construction unique to composite fabrication and improves: structural efficiency, noise, and thermal insulation. Innovative fastening technologies include threaded fittings, tapping plates, through-bolted solutions and combine to provide a system that flows smoothly through vehicle assembly. The additional value of a corrosion resistant vehicle structure enables a projection of more than 20 years of service where conventional steel systems project to 7 to 11 years of service life. The all-composite Proterra bus enables electrification of public transportation, and is leading to the expanded use of composite systems and sub-systems in all forms of transportation, including bus, truck and automotive applications.


Company: Saprex (USA)

Self-molding, High Heat Composite Insulation System

The project consists of a self-molding, PPS, thermoplastic composite insulation system for large bore diesel engine exhaust systems tests.

Saprex has developed a self-molding glass and PPS composite systems that self-molds arounds exhaust tube of large bore diesel engine vehicles. Using braided insulation, an innovative knit cover material and a water based, PPS, thermoplastic composite resin that was developed by Saertex, it has been made possible to produce a rigid insulation system on almost any geometrical configuration of tubing. This allows the easy installation, infinite changes in tubing geometry and long-service life. The innovation has been adopted by PACCAR, Daimler and Navistar. Instead of having to produce dies to make metal stamped and welded insulation covers, Saprex provides a totally flexible system that can be applied to any geometry of pipe that completely removes the need for dies and molds. This innovation is unique in the composites world, since composite materials are used to replace metal products that make dies and molds necessary. The water based, environmentally friendly PPS composite resin can be brushed, sprayed or used as a dip to deliver a matrix into a composite system. PPS is easily recoverable from waste product and an environmentally friendly water solution remains.


Company: Bcomp (Switzerland)

Partner: Persico (Italy)

Light-weight Automotive Interior Parts with Natural Fiber Reinforcement

With a staggering lightweighting potential resulting in up to 40% lighter automotive interior parts, high cost-efficiency and readiness for full integration into existing production lines, this innovation makes natural fiber reinforcements available for industrial markets.

The innovation consists of a processing technology that enables the use of high-performance natural fiber reinforcements on an industrial scale. It is a highly efficient process with one-step back-injection, that compression molds powerRibs natural flax fiber reinforcement rib structure together with a base non-woven material of choice (typically NFPP fleeces), as well as including decorative layers on the A-side, attachment points and punching in the same step. With the innovative employment of a soft silicone on the B-side on the compression molding tool, the full stiffening potential of the powerRibs preform is reached and maintained.

The collaboration brings the process to full industrialization readiness. Thanks to this innovation, it is shown how the highly engineered preform can be seamlessly integrated in large-scale, highly efficient, top notch production lines, to produce plug and play lightweight and strong interiors for tomorrow's automobiles while at the same time decreasing the eco footprint.

For more information, please contact:

Cécile Lagoutte

Content Development Manager - U.S. Events

Phone: +33 (0) 1 58 36 15 79


About JEC Group

JEC Group is dedicated to promoting composites materials internationally. It supports the development of these new materials by fostering knowledge transfer and exchanges between suppliers and users. To date, the JEC Group network gathers more than 250,000 professionals from a hundred different countries.

A strong user-oriented strategy

JEC Group informs composites professionals and end-users about major technical and economic developments, new products and applications. JEC Group's mission is to organize exchanges and to facilitate connections among all involved players - raw material producers, processors, distributors, machine and software suppliers, institutions, academics, researchers and users (aeronautics, automotive, marine, land transportation, construction, energy, sports & leisure, EEE, etc.).

Six major fields of expertise

  • Information Channels: Web Hub, Print & Digital Magazine, World Market News (e-Letters).
  • Learning Resources: Conferences (strategy, technical, economics), End-Users Forums, University Partnerships, The JEC Network.
  • Business Intelligence: Strategic Studies, Webinars.
  • Publications Library: Strategic Studies, Technical Books, Forums & Conferences Proceedings, Directories & Buyers Guides.
  • Innovation Programs: Europe, Asia, Americas, Innovation Awards, Innovation Showcases.
  • Connecting Opportunities: Composites Shows & Conferences in Europe, Asia & Americas, B2B Meetings, Job Centers.