Q: Can you provide an application example of the ‘substitution effect’?
A: Rebar is a good example. From an infrastructure standpoint, Owens Corning has focused a lot of innovation on the composite rebar market because we see it as a great opportunity.
Q: What challenges does the composites industry face?
A: It’s perhaps not the sexiest of answers, but I think one of the biggest challenges that the global marketplace faces – and the U.S. market perhaps in particular – is inflation. After an extended period of low to zero inflation, specifically in the U.S., we’ve seen a return to an inflationary environment, which drives up the cost of raw materials, energy and labor. The relative scarcity of labor further compounds this.
Q: Despite challenges, you remain optimistic. Why?
A: This is a great time to be in the composites industry. Industry growth continues to be on the upswing. We saw growth in 2017, that growth has continued and accelerated in 2018, and we anticipate that growth continuing through the coming year. Owens Corning is actively investing to support that growth, both in manufacturing assets, product innovation and process innovation across all markets. Demand is healthy.