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Tackling Composites Industry Pain Points

 Exel Composites

Eric Moussiaux, vice president of technology at composites manufacturer Exel Composites and guest professor at the Free University of Brussels, is currently on a speaking tour, visiting six different conferences across two continents from February to November 2024, to address industry pain points including sustainability and composites standards. By speaking at these tours and collaborating with industry partners, the tour will share insights and expertise through presentations focusing on those pain points, shining a light on the extensive work done by Moussiaux’s industry and academic colleagues.

The speaking tour began at the European Pultrusion Technology Association’s World Pultrusion Conference (EPTA WPC) in Hamburg on February 29. Here, Moussiaux, board member of the European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) and a member of its sustainability workgroup chaired by Jaap Vanderwoude, addressed sustainability from the perspective of the EuCIA.

He was also joined by Kim Sjödahl, vice president for sustainability at Exel Composites, who highlighted company initiatives such as carbon footprint calculators being integrated into Exel Composites’ costing process and advancements in composite-waste management such as replacing fossil fuels in cement clinker formation.

Next, the tour headed to the United States for the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) conference in Long Beach, California for presentations on May 21 and 22. This will be followed up by the Journées Européennes des Composites (JEC) Composites Talks conference in Oslo, Norway on June 4 and the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX) in San Diego, California on September 9. These talks will also delve into composite sustainability, as well as discussing CEN TS 19101, the upcoming Eurocode for composite materials, developed by the CEN Technical Committee 250 workgroup four, chaired by Professor Luigi Ascione.

“Throughout the tour, we’ll be discussing the new future Eurocode for composites, a new unified standard for designing composite structures,” explained Moussiaux. “The introduction of a unified standard like the Eurocode is significant for the composites industry. In the EU, materials lacking a Eurocode will find limited usage in construction, as the Eurocode signifies an adherence to standardized safety parameters that enhance its credibility.

“This standard bolsters both safety and industry credibility across multiple sectors. As the Eurocode for composites becomes adopted, businesses will increasingly view composites as a viable material option, shaping design approaches. “Our discussions at the shows aim to provide practical insights to help people navigate this new regulatory landscape.”

Finally, the tour will conclude in Paris at the Polymer and Composite Materials in Building and Civil engineering conference on November 27 and 28, hosted by the French Society of Plastic Engineers (SFIP), following a nine-month tour including a visit to the Finnish Plastics Industries Federation on November 6.

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