While the use of composite materials stretches back to the dawn of civilization, our industry is a comparatively new one. In fact, the incorporation of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite technology into the industrial world took place less than a century ago.
A significant amount of our industry’s early growth was fueled by military needs and defense applications. By the early-mid 20th Century, the private sector had begun embracing the multiple benefits offered by composites, creating an ever-expanding list of market opportunities. Once perceived of as “space age” materials, composites are now part of countless consumer products and fully integrated into everyday life.
The composites industry consists of everything from small, “mom and pop” operations to international conglomerates. Its growth has been the result of global economic development and increased penetration of key existing – and emerging – market segments.
Composites offer a host of advantages over more traditional competitive materials, including more strength per unit of weight, superior durability and greater resistance to corrosion and chemicals. But their most powerful attribute is their unmatched versatility in meeting the challenges of improving quality, increasing performance and enhancing safety.