21 December 2010
21 December 2010
A new survey of the Brazilian market of composites carried out by Maxiquim, a company hired by the Brazilian Composite Materials Association (ABMACO), indicated that the industry should register a growth even higher than that indicated by the last survey.
Currently, it is expected to report a 13% revenue increase, totaling USD 1.49 billion, compared to the 11% projected earlier this year. Compared to the second half of 2009, Maxiquim estimates a 6.3% revenue increase. In terms of volume, Brazil may consume 213,000 tons this year, 16.3% more than in the previous year.
The widespread acceleration in the construction, wind energy generation, transport and basic sanitation sectors, the main consumers of composites in Brazil, guarantees such optimism, says Gilmar Lima, president of ABMACO. There are important projects going on in these sectors and the composite materials are seen as the first option on many of them, he says.
Quarterly figures released by ABMACO do not include the consumption division by segment, which is consolidated only at the end of every year.
In 2009, the construction sector accounted for 41% of the total composites processed in the country. Wind power was in second, with 36% one of the local manufacturers of blades has processed no less than 30,000 tons of composite materials last year. As for the automakers, especially manufacturers of buses, trucks and agricultural vehicles, their share accounted for 11%.
In terms of revenue, however, the transportation sector ranked first, with 31%, followed by energy (27%) and construction (16%). This is a consequence of the higher value added of parts used in vehicles bumpers, hoods and roofs, for example as well as wind blades, in contrast to water reservoirs, tiles and bathtubs, key representatives of composites in building material stores.
Toho Tenax is introducing a high-tensile, highly shock-resistant prepreg that incorporates carbon fibre developed for aerospace applications and carbon nanotubes (CNTs).
NTPT is collaborating with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Centre of Technology (EPFL) and other partners to research discontinuous fibre composite tubes for high performance applications.
The £50 million McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) nearing completion near Sheffield, UK, was inaugurated on 16 January.