‘Composites industry must boost indigenous manufacturing’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2019

Lack of awareness among end-user industries is a major stumbling block for growth   -  REUTERS

Growing needs of defence, marine and infra sectors need to be met, stresses eminent scientist

The composites industry needs to enhance indigenous manufacturing capabilities to supply critical components to defence and marine sectors, said VK Saraswat, eminent scientist and Member of NITI Aayog.

The country needs to switch to usage of composites to meet the ever-increasing needs of defence, marine and infrastructure sectors for high performance material. India soon needs to shift to usage of composites material, he said, inaugurating the ninth International Conference and Exhibition on Reinforced Plastics in Mumbai.

A composite is an engineered material made from two or more ingredients with different physical or chemical properties.

The Indian composites market is expected to touch $2.5 billion at a compounded annual growth rate of 14 per cent by 2021.

Aggressive approach

Advocating the need to bring contemporary reforms, Saraswat urged the industry to adopt an aggressive approach in terms of research and development and quality enhancement. He also advocated the need for skilling workforce and ensure recycling measures for sustainability.

Composite materials are used in over 40,000 end-use applications in many large markets such as transportation, power energy, building, and infrastructure.

The demand is currently driven by sustainable practices such as energy use and availability, besides the need for scalable solutions to address the impact of climate change and strain on natural resources to meet an ever-rising population.

Vipul Shah, COO, Petrochemical Division, Reliance Industries, said the company will soon start its carbon fibre plant, which will boost India’s composites industry’s future in sectors such as rail and infrastructure.

Reliance Industries plans to make low-cost and high-volume composite products like modular toilets, building material and composites for windmill blades and rotor blades.

Reliance is also developing capabilities for 3D printing of a wide range of plastic and metals products. It plans to produce graphene, enhanced plastics, elastomers and fibre-reinforced composites that can replace steel.

Published on January 13, 2019

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