What is the biggest stumbling block to composite inclusion for engineers?
They want to be able to pick up a hand book and look at the mechanical properties of composites like they do with steel and concrete, but they can’t do that. If they need a steel beam that’s 20 feet long and must be a certain dimension, they know the calculations to make. In composites, you can’t do that. The calculations need to be more in depth so it takes more time to specify. ACMA’s Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) is trying to do that with LRFD project.
What is crucial to 2011 growth?
Natural entropy in production systems has a big impact on composites growth. If you don’t add energy to a system, it degrades. That holds true to a composite production system. Management needs to invest energy into the system to stop natural digression. Companies need equipment upgrades, materials used, work practices and recurrent training to keep from degrading. For example, in light of the recent styrene development where SIRC recommended a lower PEL, companies should look at exposure reduction strategies. It will be a big deal for some composites manufacturers and some will have an easier time than others.