Tour De France Champion Greg Lemond Signs Carbon Fiber Agreement With Oak Ridge National Laboratory

New carbon fiber manufacturing process yields high volume, low cost composites for transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure.

September 1, 2016

Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond is partnering with carbon fiber manufacturing pioneer Connie Jackson and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to bring a new carbon fiber manufacturing solutions to the market. 

LeMond Composites, a new company offering solutions for high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber, has secured a licensing agreement with U.S. Department of Energy’s ORNL. The agreement will make the Oak Ridge-based LeMond Composites the first company to offer this new carbon fiber to the transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure markets.

“We can provide the advantages of our carbon fiber to many industries by improving strength, stiffness, and weight reduction. If you imagine replacing steel, aluminum, and fiberglass with our carbon fiber, you begin to understand the scope of the potential market,” said Connie Jackson, CEO of LeMond Composites. “Our process will have global applications and we are ready to move forward with scaling the technology.”

A breakthrough process invented by Jackson and a research team at ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility aims to reduce production costs by more than 50% relative to the lowest cost Industrial grade carbon fiber. 

Jackson and several of her ORNL teammates joined LeMond Composites in 2016.

“We have assembled the only team in the world that has executed this proven technology which uniquely positions us to deliver a successful outcome for our customers and stakeholders,” said Greg LeMond. “From experience, I know that having the right team is a distinct business advantage.”

Light, stiff and strong, carbon fiber is the perfect material for advanced composites in a variety of applications. The biggest obstacle to its widespread use has been the high cost of carbon fiber. This new process will allow high-volume, cost-sensitive industries around the world to reap the benefits of carbon fiber composites at a fraction of the cost while incorporating chemistry geared toward recyclability.

“The development of this new process demonstrates the value of coupling basic and applied research, which is a hallmark of ORNL, and it underscores the Department of Energy’s commitment to addressing our nation’s most pressing energy challenges,” said Thom Mason, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director. “The Department’s sustained investments in scientific research and development and in specialized facilities such as CFTF are enabling a variety of applications that will lead to improvements in fuel efficiency and position U.S. industry for global success.”

ORNL’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility began operations in 2012, supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing and Vehicle Technologies offices, to demonstrate the possibility of low-cost carbon fiber at a semi-production scale.

“ORNL has been the driving force for new company locations in our area for some time,” President of the Roane Alliance Wade Creswell said. “We are incredibly fortunate and thankful that ORNL has licensed this new technology and is transferring it to the private sector. Having LeMond Composites locate in Roane County and Oak Ridge is an incredible opportunity to bolster our local economy through good paying jobs. We are excited to work with Connie Jackson, a Roane County native, to help make LeMond Composites the leader in the world of carbon fiber production.”

About LeMond Composites
Founded in 2016, LeMond Composites is focused on the manufacture of high-volume, low-cost carbon fiber composites. With global applications in transportation, renewable energy, and infrastructure, low cost carbon fiber composites will be a key component in the future of efficient energy use. LeMond Composites is located in Oak Ridge Tennessee at 103 Palladium Way.