LONDON – Infrastructure development in Europe is steadily gathering pace following a period of weak demand during the economic downturn. As a result, the building and construction composites market in the region is gaining momentum. Technological advancements coupled with the superior performance attributes of composites will further boost uptake.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (www.chemicals.frost.com; www.frost.com/prod/servlet/svcg.pag/CMCM), Analysis of the European Building and Construction Composites Market, finds that the market earned revenues of 798.5 million euros in 2012 and estimates this to reach 1,186.1 million euros in 2019.
"Composites offer design flexibility, corrosion resistance, durability, easy installation, weatherproofing, and weight reduction. These benefits spur the market in Europe," saidFrost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials and Food Industry Analyst Sandeepan Mondal. "Recommendations by architects and engineers have also played a vital role in popularising composites, especially in emerging applications such as bridges, fibre-reinforced plastic panels, rebars, and door and window profiles."
Despite its advantages over traditional materials like metals, composites are seeing limited use in building and construction due to high raw material and fabrication costs. With the economic slowdown, tier-I manufacturers, contractors and engineering firms in Europe have become extremely cautious with their budgets, restraining investments in composite parts.
The building and construction industry’s unfamiliarity with composites has further pushed adoption to the back burner.
Difficulty in manufacturing, repairing and recycling composites adds to the challenge. In fact, the general perception is that full transition to composites is still 10 to 15 years away, and using composites along with metals is the way forward.
Therefore, collaboration between composite suppliers and part manufacturers is a crucial step towards quickening technical advancements and improving consumer awareness. Existing competitors can acquire smaller composite manufacturers to strengthen their product portfolio and appeal to a broader customer base.
"Focus on product innovation and joint development activities will be critical for market expansion, particularly in the long term as the European economy recovers," proposed Mondal. "Developing and marketing composite solutions that comply with evolving legislations will lead to robust growth."