A trade group promoting carbon-fiber composites plans to cease operations June 1. Consolidation of companies within the industry has eroded the base of the Suppliers of Advanced Composite Materials Association, based in Arlington, Va.
SACMA Board Chairman D.J. DeLong of BP Amoco Polymers Inc. in Alpharetta, Ga., announced the decision March 3.
Thirty-four material suppliers and aerospace companies banded together in 1984 to form the group. Now, SACMA has seven members with annual dues of $11,000-$41,800, prorated based on their sales. Each company's annual obligation has grown as the membership dwindled, and SACMA found itself unable to fulfill industry needs with fewer supporters.
The current members include BP Amoco Polymers, Ciba Specialty Chemical Corp., Grafil Inc., Hexcel Corp., SGL Carbon Group, Toho Carbon Fibers Inc. and Toray Industries Inc.
In the news release announcing the dissolution, SACMA encouraged its corporate members to join the Composite Fabricators Association, which also is based in Arlington. CFA has proposed creating a Carbon Fiber Management Council, which would advance SACMA's goals.
CFA has absorbed other processing and materials groups in recent years, including the Composites Institute, which was a unit of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
DeLong also expressed interest in maintaining its long-standing relationship with the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering in Covina, Calif.
SACMA has been a source of test methods, safe-handling information, government relations and industry statistics. The group's annual budget peaked at $750,000 in 1990, according to William Werst, executive director.
Werst heads Inter-Associates Inc., a management company that has operated SACMA business affairs since 1997. Inter-Associates also manages the newly formed Vacuum Insulation Association, which meets June 7-8 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Until March 1, Inter-Associates managed the United States Ceramics Association.