The first day of the Composites 2010 event in a grey and rainy Las Vegas started with an upbeat presentation on the future of the US composites industry by business analyst Ray MacNeil.

The US composites industry has been hit hard since late 2007, he said, but he predicts growth of 3-5% this year, and then 8-12% annually from 2011-2014.

He also discussed how developments in key markets for composites (such as automotive, construction, and wind energy) should help the industry's recovery:

"We're not a one-trick show, and we're not dependent on one sector of the economy."

The inherent advantages of composites (strength, low weight, corrosion resistance) should also lead to new applications, MacNeil said, but it's also important to monitor issues such as regulation and offshore competitors.