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Looking to the Future: National Composites Week 2019

August 26 marks the start of the first-ever National Composites Week, a five-day event celebrating the advancement of composite technologies and the growth of the industry. During the event, companies are encouraged to host tours of their facilities, reach out to community college/university STEM programs, and spread the word about Composites Week through social media.

Composites Week began as a joint effort between A&P Technology, Hexcel, and CompositesWorld. The event aims to provide an opportunity for the industry’s diverse membership to come together to communicate with each other and the public about the varied applications of composites in the modern world.

A Reason to Celebrate

By challenging companies to share examples of how their composites provide tangible benefits to customers and ultimately communities, Composites Week asks professionals to reflect on the current state of the industry. For General Plastics, this means taking a moment to appreciate how composite materials have advanced in the past decade:

“This is such an exciting time for non-metallics and plastic-metallic hybrid designs,” says Mitchell Johnson, Ph.D., President and CEO of General Plastics. “Non-metallic composites have provided a large number of solutions that are in the marketplace where 10 years ago, they were just concepts in R&D labs and design centers with no realistic path to commercial, affordable production.”

Looking Forward

In addition to prompting industry members to evaluate composites as they exist now, Composites Week encourages participants to examine the direction the technology is moving. At General Plastics, we see composites being used in places where metallic options have traditionally dominated. In these areas, “FRP and sandwich panels [have been] replacing metallics as the preferred solution to reduce weight and provide larger, more complex monolithic shapes,” according to Johnson. When it comes to production, he believes that efficient, automated manufacturing is needed to meet this growing demand for composites. As several of our products are used in core, tooling and modeling applications, General Plastics works everyday with customers to deliver innovative material solutions that will meet their production timelines, quality and cost requirements.

National Composites Week presents a chance for the composites industry, college/university STEM program members, and the general public to exchange ideas and form connections; to appreciate advancements within the industry; and to discuss where composites manufacturing is heading. With all it has to offer, let’s hope that by this time next year, National Composites Week has proven it’s here to stay.

For more information on the event, visit National Composites Week’s official website.

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