Exhibitors at Composites 2010 are generally upbeat about the prospects for the US composites industry over the next few years.

Ted Harris, President of Ashland Performance Materials, is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about 2010, saying that there are some markets starting to recover. China has rebounded, he says, but Europe is struggling, and North America is starting to see growth from its low (current) base. Ashland is seeing some pick up in the marine, automotive, and RV panel sectors.

Marcio Sandri, Americas vice president and managing director of the Owens Corning Composites Group, says that we can expect recovery, consistent with historical market trends. OC estimates global volumes for glass fibre reinforcements saw a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of -20% for 2008-2009, but a +7-9% CAGR is expected for 2009-2015. A return to 2008 levels will not be seen until 2012.

In North America, OC expects to see growth in some markets in 2010 (transportation, housing), by 2011 the power/energy and water distribution markets will have joined them, while by 2012 the company also expects to see growth in most other sectors.