The halves of this surfboard, built by composites manufacturer mouldCAM in Bristol, Rhode Island, were sent to California to be used by the Visit Huntington Beach tourism campaign. Its creators seek to break the world record for the most people to catch a wave. Once complete, the 42-foot-long, 11-foot-wide board can be ridden by 62 people. Courtesy of mouldCAM
Masts for America’s Cup race boats. Rowing shells. A giant surfboard.
Airplane parts, radar domes, satnav dishes, spacecraft ramps. Wind tunnels, violins, outdoor works of art, bridges and buses.
What these diverse products — some of them, familiar to the marine industry — have in common is composites. That’s the combination of at least two materials whose individual physical and chemical traits are manufactured into a single material with different properties.
Whether they’re a producer, product weaver, supplier, engineer or mold builder, American companies — many of them marine enterprises with roots in boatbuilding — in composites manufacturing number 3,000, according to statistics from the American Composites Manufacturers Association.
It’s an industry that, as the demand for lighter, stronger, and corrosion-resistant structures continues to grow, is accelerating steadily. Annually, the U.S. composites industry generates nearly $70 billion in revenue and is projected to grow an average of 6.5 percent by 2020.
At IBEX, composites is a core track in the education seminar series. And, the composites pavilion takes up the single largest amount of show floor space — 14,000 square feet of the total area. More than 70 companies have already signed on to exhibit in the pavilion at the 2015 show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville from September 15 to September 17.
New at the pavilion this year is the Future Materials hands-on exhibit. Curated by editors from IBEX co-founder Professional BoatBuilder as well as CompositesWorld magazines, this collection of new materials, processes, and technologies will be gathered from a variety of sources including marine, aerospace, and automotive industries, plus some applied academic research and development. Applicants have until May 8, 2015, to submit work they want considered for inclusion in the collection. Send applications to Aaron Porter (email@example.com) or Ginger Gardiner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Education Seminar Manager