Science Class May 2019 Image-4

Science Class May 2019

May 8, 2019 

On May 8th, 2019, 7 employees from Toray Composite Materials America in Tacoma taught three science classes to groups of 7th graders at Elk Plain School of Choice. The employees came from various sectors in the business, and were excited to inspire the next generation to take an interest in the STEM field, in the environment, and in Toray as a company. 

The classes focused on environmental issues and how Toray helps. The first problem we spoke about is water shortage. Even though the Earth is approximately 70% water, only a small percentage of this is actually drinkable. There are currently around 800 million people without safe drinking water in the world today, so what’s the solution? Toray’s advanced material solution is a hollow fiber membrane, which essentially filters out impurities. In the class, we took small scale demonstration models, and allowed the students to perform filtration experiments using the membranes and orange juice. With these, we can filter the water from the orange juice. After the experiment, we showed the students what the membranes looked like up close, and how they are used in mass water filtration systems. 

Next, we moved on to global warming, and this time we look at carbon fiber. We explain what global warming is, and how carbon fiber can help combat it. Specifically, we talked about Prepreg, which is the type of carbon fiber product made at Tacoma plant. We explained what Prepreg is, how it is made, show a video on its strength compared to plastic, and compare it to iron. Carbon fiber is lighter, durable, solid, and never rusts, making it a desirable product for many applications, including aerospace. Boeing, one of our largest customers, kindly allowed us the use of a “making of” video from their factory, showing one of their aircraft being built with Toray’s carbon fiber products. We explained that because carbon fiber is lighter, it means the overall aircraft is lighter, uses less fuel, which produces a smaller carbon footprint, and therefore less of an environmental impact. 

Also in the presentation we talked about Toray, its origin, locations around the world, products we make, and gave the students more information on Tacoma plant. Many students were interested in learning more about our carbon fiber products and their application in aerospace. 

The classes were very successful. Employees worked hard to keep the presentation interesting and engaging, on getting things set up and cleaned down between classes, and in helping the students with the experiments and questions. 

The students had a great time. They were enthusiastic about the experiments, enjoyed the videos, and asked a lot of thoughtful questions. We look forward to planning another round of science classes with the school, and hope to have the same employees to help out. 

Barrels of Love

Barrels of Love

March 7, 2019

The 8th Annual Barrels of Love, a non-perishable food drive sponsored by Morgan County Industrials that CMA DE Plant is a proud member of, started on February 14th and ran through March 1st.

Donations would go to support the following Morgan County Agencies:

Committee on Church Cooperation
Salvation Army
Backpack Programs for the School Systems which provide food to school children in need to take home with them and help support a more nutritional diet

After every holiday season, local food bank shelves become depleted. The “Barrels of Love” program helps these non-profit pantries by supplying stock back up all the way through the summer months.

CMA DE Plant donated 2,533 non-perishable items - two vans full of food!! Goods included peanut butter, canned meats, soups, ramen noodles, mac and cheese, grits, pasta, pop-top food items, drink boxes, canned fruit and vegetables, flour, sugar, and cooking oil. Combined with the community, a total of 88,484 non-perishable food items was collected for Barrels of Love to help those in need.

We are humbled by everyone’s generosity and LOVE shown in this project, and we are proud of our CMA DE Plant family for all that they have done.

Annual STEM Engineering Showcase (CMA Tacoma)

Annual STEM Engineering Showcase (CMA Tacoma)

March 7, 2019

Every year, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility activities, CMA participates in Elk Plain School of Choice K8 Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Showcase in Spanaway, Washington. This year, on March 7, 2019, GA employees talked about Toray’s history, some environmental issues facing our planet, and how Toray’s advanced materials can help with some of these environmental issues – specifically, water shortage and global warming. 

Three GA members: Chinatsu Schenk, Michela Hammond, and Louise Dupuy engaged over a hundred attendees during the event. The team invited students and parents to participate in an experiment on how to use hollow fiber membranes to filter water from orange juice using a large syringe, while explaining how each of the little strings was like a tiny straw and a magnified cross section would reveal tiny holes inside. A filtration model and particles with varying dimensions were also used to demonstrate what everyday items can be filtered with different gap sizes.

Furthermore, the team discussed global warming and Toray’s advanced solutions which are carbon fiber and prepreg – a combination of carbon fiber and resin. Carbon fibers have several advantages in comparison to iron and steel such as stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion. These properties have made carbon fiber and prepreg very popular in many cutting-edge applications including aerospace, industrial, transportation, and sporting goods. 

STEM Night was not a traditional Science Fair. This was an Engineering Showcase. Elk Plain requires students in grades 4 – 6 to participate, and students in other grades may participate as well if they wish. The key concept of this event requires students to select a project and engage in the engineering process: Define, Develop, Test, and Optimize.

There were abundant project entries, and the gymnasium was packed with display boards, models, journals, and more! Some examples of engineering projects were popsicle-stick bridges to support heavy objects, catapults to fling objects long distances, water filtration systems, several paper airplanes to see which stays up longest, efficient solar ovens, and car models to travel as far as possible. 

The STEM Engineering Showcase is a fun, informative event that provides an excellent opportunity for CMA employees to connect with the local community of learners, while working together to improve student achievement through science and technology. We plan to participate in this event again next year.

CMA at Pierce County Skills Center

CMA at Pierce County Skills Center

February 26, 2019

As part of our continued partnership with Pierce County Skills Center (PCSC) in Puyallup, Washington, Toray CMA Manufacture Engineering associates visited the facility on February 25 and 26, 2019 to interact with over 40 Aerospace Composites students. PCSC opened on September 8, 2010 and is located just a couple of miles north of CMA. The center provides rigorous technical and professional experiences to juniors and seniors from 10 school districts: Bethel, Eatonville, Fife, Franklin Pierce, Orting, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, University Place, and White River. Their mission is to prepare students for high-demand, high-wage jobs and post-secondary education.

PCSC’s Aerospace Composites program, one of 15 they offer, has two semesters per year, two sessions per program each day, and 15-25 students in each session. The program is designed to prepare students to fabricate, assemble, and repair composite materials. Furthermore, students design, build, and repair composite parts and assemblies using the same techniques as local aerospace industry partners. For this reason, the CMA Production team meticulously planned and conducted classes that included a brief process overview of the prepreg department; 3Cs – Composites and different types of carbon fiber prepreg, Customers and meeting their needs, and our Culture focusing on “ANZEN KOH-DOH”; and how to identify, improve, and remove defects within our process. In between teaching sessions, CMA associates had lunch at the Glacier Grill, where Culinary Arts students make a great selection of savory entrees.

Each class took approximately two and a half hours with Q&A periods speckled throughout. Many of the questions asked were perceptive and career-related. In the end, students were inspired and eager to learn more.

This was not CMA’s first trip to PCSC. Manufacture Engineering associates have been working with them since they opened in 2010. Visiting twice a year gives our employees opportunities to engage the community and meet future CMA applicants. PCSC graduates are working at Toray for the Resin, Filming, Prepreg, and Finishing areas. CMA is excited and looks forward to visiting the center again in the Fall.