Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology Facility

NREL's Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology (CoMET) Facility supports wind, waterpower, and composite industries in advancing materials and manufacturing research.

CoMET opened its doors in 2017. The cutting-edge facility is the result of a funding partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, the State of Colorado, and NREL.

Situated on the sprawling 305-acre National Wind Technology Center at the Flatirons Campus, the 10,000-ft2 CoMET expands NREL's composite manufacturing research capabilities by enabling researchers to design, prototype, validate, and manufacture composite wind and marine turbine blades and other components in one location.

View a virtual tour of the facility (text alternative available).

A wind turbine stands in the foreground with roads and buildings below. A mountain range spans the background.

Designed to work in conjunction with NREL's design, analysis, and structural validation capabilities, the facility expedites composites materials and manufacturing innovation and is open to industry partners, university researchers, and everyone in between.

In October 2020, the Advanced Thermoplastic Resins for Manufacturing Wind Turbine Blades project, a technology born out of CoMET, was honored with an R&D 100 Special Recognition Award for being a "market disruptor." Watch the video to learn more about this game-changing wind and waterpower innovation and how CoMET's capabilities enabled its development.

Cutting-Edge Capabilities

The CoMET facility grants users access to 3-D printed blade tooling, composite material mixing equipment, state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, and novel materials for rapid prototyping. Users can also simulate and model designs and manufacturing methods and characterize the structural properties of their prototypes.

A researcher wearing a white coat, safety goggles, and purple gloves works in a white, half-dome facility.

Featuring specialized capabilities in wind and marine industry composite research, the CoMET provides clean tech titans with the tools and workspaces essential to the development of industry-advancing materials and processes, such as:

A long, light green component of a turbine blade sits in a white, half-dome facility
  • Rapid prototyping of new blade materials and production methods
  • Full-scale blade component tooling and fixtures (root, spar cap, tip, shear web)
  • Infusion, pultrusion, prepreg, RTM, hand lay-up (small parts)
  • Polyester, vinyl-Ester, epoxy, thermoplastic/fiberglass, carbon fiber
  • Comprehensive composite production equipment (mixers, vacuum, dispensers)
  • Molding, assembly, bonding, and finishing
  • Thermal welding
  • Segmented 3-D printed tooling
  • Large-area rapid nondestructive evaluation
  • Modeling and manufacturing simulation
  • Panels, material test coupons, and components
  • Structural evaluation of coupons, components, and joints
  • Industrial robotic platform for automation research
  • Composite recycling processing and material characterization
  • Workforce development and training for the composites industry.

Looking ahead to 2021, CoMET will add the following capabilities to its growing stable of resources:

  • Industrial robotic platform for automation research
  • Composite recycling processing and material characterization.

Structural Validation Capabilities

A turbine blade is validated in a testing facility

NREL's structural validation laboratories, located on the grounds of the Flatirons Campus, allow engineers to design experiments and perform structural validation activities employing representative loads and environmental conditions that recreate extreme wind and water conditions.

Partner With Us

NREL offers a variety of ways for organizations to gain access to NREL's research expertise in wind and marine energy technologies:

Plan Your Visit

NREL's Flatirons Campus, which houses CoMET at the National Wind Technology Center, is about 5 miles south of Boulder, Colorado. The cities of Louisville and Broomfield are nearby. The Flatirons Campus is approximately 37 miles northwest of Denver International Airport.

Please note that the Flatirons Campus is not located at the main NREL facility in Golden, Colorado; it is approximately 25 miles north of Golden.

Learn more about the CoMET Facilities and partner with us.