Composites Europe 2015 – final report

  • 470 exhibitors from 29 nations, 10,087 visitors
  • GFRP production to grow by 2.5% in 2015
  • Germany still top growth market

Lightweight construction represents one of the greatest opportunities and prospective growth areas for the fibre composites industry. Demand in Europe is on the rise, and the sector is looking to the future with optimism, especially in Germany. The positive mood was reflected at the 10th Composites Europe, where the anniversary event from 22 to 24 September 2015 set new records in terms of exhibitors, visitors and exhibition space.

470 exhibitors from 29 nations, 10,087 visitors

Composites Europe 2006 kicked things off with 168 exhibitors. When the event cycled back to Stuttgart this year for the tenth anniversary, 470 companies (prior Stuttgart event in 2013: 405) from 29 nations exhibited and filled three exhibition halls for the first time. With 10,087 visitors in attendance (2013: 9,171), the exhibition set another record. Nearly half of all trade fair visitors (45%) came from outside Germany, with one in eight (13%) from overseas. Two new events premiered at Composites Europe: the 1st International Composites Congress and the bio!CAR Conference.

GFRP production to grow by 2.5% in 2015

Glass-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) make up the composites industry’s largest group of materials by far, with a share of over 95% of the total volume. GFRP production is on track to grow by 2.5% in 2015, reaching the highest level in eight years with an estimated 1.069 million tonnes. That’s the finding of the current market report issued by the German reinforced-plastics industry association AVK, which was presented in Stuttgart. Thermoplastic materials such as GMT and LFT are posting above-average growth rates.

Germany still top growth market

The highest growth rates are being posted by the composites industry in Germany: the largest market for fibre-reinforced plastics in Europe is set to grow by 6% in 2015, followed by the Eastern European countries (4%) and UK/Ireland (3%). The main purchasers continue to be the transport and construction sectors, followed by the electrical/electronics industry, and the sports and leisure industry.

Parallel event Hybrid Expo on the ascent

The significance of multi-material composites, metal-plastic hybrids in particular, in the automotive engineering and electronics sectors was also on display at the parallel event Hybrid Expo, which was staged for the second time in Stuttgart. A total of 70 international exhibitors from mechanical engineering, toolmaking and R&D as well as numerous complete-solutions providers, presented the entire process chain for the large-scale manufacturing of hybrid components. A special focus at the trade fair was on process integration and acceleration during the production of metal-plastic composites.

The next Composites Europe will cycle back to Düsseldorf and take place from 29 November to 1 December 2016.

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