Considering that Ashland is leading the initiative and was a sponsor of the Composites Pavilion at the AIA Convention, it’s clear that Ashland is a great advocate of the composites industry. How have you seen the industry grow in recent years?

Moffit: The composites industry is certainly growing as the economy recovers, but more exciting than the general economic recovery is the growth of composites in new applications. Ashland developed based on a vision to educate the design/build community on the value of composites and make it easy for them to connect with composite material fabricators, thus speeding the adoption of composites in this field. This initiative has been highly successful. Concurrent education programs in tandem with the 2014 Composites Pavilion and our many exhibits since 2010 at the Greenbuild Expo have also propelled the building industry to better understand the tremendous value that composites deliver.  These exhibits expose the building community to cool new composite applications like the Epitome Quality Foundation Walls and Kreysler‘s Fireshield 285 panels – earmarked to be used on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

What are your predictions for how the composites industry will grow in the coming years?

Moffit:Use of composites across multiple markets continues to strengthen. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards will accelerate the use of more composites in automotive applications. The aviation industry has embraced composites for their high strength, low weight and design flexibility.  The surge in chemical production and industrial processes continues to increase demand for corrosion-resistant materials based on FRP. The future is bright for the composites industry, but we need to continue our quest to educate key stakeholders. In the construction market, plans are already forming for another Composites Pavilion at the AIA 2015 show.  Ashland will continue to use the website and exhibit to promote composites to the building industry at the Greenbuild Expo. ACMA’s Architectural Division is updating its architectural guidelines and developing continuing education sessions; there is even talk of a Composite Pavilion at the International Builders Show (IBS) in 2016. Successful implementation of these plans and similar education initiatives is the key to ensuring that this bright potential future becomes a reality.