With the rise in steel price and focus of the government towards infrastructure, wind energy projects, construction - the Rs 5,000-crore plus composites industry expects a 25% growth in the next 5 years. Composites are produced by combining polymer and glass fibre and are lighter than steel having low maintenance cost.
These are also exposed to volatility in price due to resins (polymer) that form over 50% part of the material. However, Chennai-based FRP Institute chairman Satish Kulkarni said that volatility in composites is less compared to metals.
Speaking to media persons on Wednesday, Mr Kulkarni said that the sector has also attracted foreign investments and many companies including Amiantit, Pentair, Georgia Pacific and Fibergrate have entered Indian markets. Also, there are many other companies that are expected to make big investments in this sector in the coming few years.
The present domestic capacity of composites is 140,000 tonnes and Mr Kulkarni feels that there is a potential to reach a capacity of one million tonnes in the next ten years.
Some recent cases where composites have been effectively used are pipes for water and sewage transportation, wind mill blade for wind turbines, street light poles for roads and highways, under-bonnet applications for automobiles, telecom cables and also in defence applications.
To further create an awareness about applications and use of reinforced plastics, the FRP Institute is also organising an international conference next month in the city where around 500 national and international delegates would be participating and deliberating on the issue.