They’re light, stable, corrosion-resistant and low-maintenance: thanks to these properties, prospects are excellent for the material and thus also for the European composites industry. Automotive engineering, aerospace and construction have been the main drivers propelling fibre composites.
Production quantities of glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) – which with a market share of 95 per cent still represent the largest materials group – once again increased last year, by two per cent over the prior year. Germany, Europe’s largest composites market, even saw a slightly above-average production increase of three per cent. Overall, 1.12 million metric tonnes of GFRP were produced, according to the findings of the current 2017 composites market report issued by the German Federation of Reinforced Plastics AVK.
"Composites as a material and the entire associated industry still hold enormous potential, which in many cases has yet to be fully revealed”, says Elmar Witten, managing director of the AVK. The companies themselves definitely expressed an optimistic view of the future. According to the latest edition of the semi-annual composites market survey in Germany, just one per cent of respondents expect commitment to decline, while just under half of them are counting on their company’s commitment in the composites field to increase.
This positive market outlook was reflected as well at this year’s Composites Europe, which as Europe’s leading trade fair in the largest market puts on display the entire manufacturing process from raw materials to semi-finished goods to finished components. With a total of 406 exhibitors from 28 countries and 8,342 visitors, this year’s Composites Europe fell just short of last year’s result (2016: 8,622), but it significantly increased its international reach.
More than 40 per cent of visitors came from outside Germany.
22 September 2017