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International Engineering Conference “Composites. Technology. Materials” in Moscow

The 1st International Engineering Conference “Composites. Technology. Materials” took place in Moscow at the international information and exhibition center InfoProstranstvo on 11 April 2012. The conference was arranged by the Composite Holding Company.

About 200 people, representing 50 companies, participated in the conference, including world-wide leaders in composites design and development, as well as in the manufacturing of composite materials and associated products. Business representatives from Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Hungary, the Netherlands and Russia joined the conference. Scientists, engineers and experts in composite manufacturing gathered to demonstrate their expertise in the design and application of composite materials, and to share both their views of their usage and their perspectives on the development of the industry.

The conference was split into two sessions – the first was dedicated to the production technology of composite materials and their application, the second covered topics relating to raw materials, products of high added value and process engineering. Spokespeople from Russia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Hungary presented their achievements in composites design. Experts from Germany spoke on 10 topics starting from impregnation of prepregs technology up to developments for aerospace industry.

Mr. Leonid Melamed, Chief Executive Officer of the Composite Holding Company, opened the conference. In his opening speech, he talked about a wide range of applications for carbon fiber materials, about the possibilities of developments in industries such as auto, construction and renovation through use of new technology and materials, and about worldwide experience, expertise and practice in the industry. Indeed, there is huge potential here. Just in Moscow, there are many new construction projects as well as renovation of existing facilities; furthermore, the city has ambitious plans to expand. In addition, the potential for use of new materials in construction in Russia as a whole is absolutely enormous. According to Leonid Melamed, however, engineering is a serious constraining factor in the development of the composite industry in Russia, and that is unfortunate. That is why the Composite Holding Company initiated an international conference to deal with this topic, to help experts from different companies and countries to share their experience, to demonstrate their achievements in the development of composite materials and application opportunities, which already exist. Mr. Melamed emphasised that, despite of the youth of Russian composite industry, he believes in the Russian market and its potential; that, in fact, many companies aim to expand the use of new materials.


Opening remarks were made by Mr. Andrey Malyshev, RUSNANO Deputy Chairman of the the Board. He said that RUSNANO has come a long way over the past five years, initially aiming to restart in areas in which Russia had previously been a leader. Since 2010, RUSNANO has launched 21 plants, four of which in the first few months of this year. The company “Prepreg-ACM”, one of the companies controlled by the Composite Holding Company, was one of the initial RUSNANO project companies and is currently a leader in the carbon fabric and prepregs market in Russia. The company’s aim is to create a market in the new generation of composite materials, and to prove their efficiency and advantages over traditional materials. Compared to traditionally used steel and aluminium composites, they withstand high loads at times, have greater strength, high levels of hardness and durability despite their low weight. The materials are five times lighter than steel and up to 10 times stronger. “Our corporation is prepared for further creation of engineering facilities and is open for applications”, Mr. Malyshev concluded.


The Chief of Innovation of the Moscow Department of Science and Industrial Policy- Mr. Vladislav Ashmarin - also addressed the conference. He promised that in the next four years, Moscow government activity will closely focus on the creation of all conditions necessary to support innovative business. Such work is already actively conducted. In particular, a new law was drafted for the innovation center of the city – “Moskvich”, which focuses on specific measures to support the center’s activity. It provides certain tax preferences as well as support for various expenses compensations, for example energy costs. In addition, a new customs post will be created at “Moskvich”, that will simplify the process of receipt of all necessary authorizations. The city has adopted a program of economic development, under which the new innovative center will be established to support the business, and a new office will be created to address the problems of entrepreneurship in innovation. On behalf of the Moscow government, Mr. Ashmarin urged the conference participants to engage in the establishment of innovation companies.


Mr. Sergey Pavlov, Composite Holding Company representative, spoke about the expected 23% growth of the Russian carbon fiber market, a significant number. The key drivers for such development are:

<>······Manufacture of pipes for housing and communal services, in addition to the existing project of modernizing oil and gas pipelines – strengthening pipes with composite materials and manufacture of pipes using innovative technology.


Another speaker from Composite Holding Company – Mr. Balázs Zsigmond – explained the company’s activity and structure in detail, and its ability to manufacture prepregs and various fibers which can be used successfully in multiple industries. He also spoke about development of new materials, and establishment of a system for testing carbon fiber in the aviation industry. The important focus was on the company’s successfully reducing manufacturing costs to 12-20 USD per kilo. The cost of composite materials and associated products is a key factor which requires serious attention and detailed clarification to consumers. Manufacturers must explain the benefits and advantages of the new materials thoroughly in order to justify the higher cost compared to traditional materials such as steel and aluminium. Special attention was also given to information about the establishment of a nanotechnology center for composite materials, based at “Moskvich”. The center was designed to help manufacturers at start-up stage and to provide its equipped base for research, experimental design, technological, laboratory and certification work.


Mr. Rolf Dotagen from “CMP” (Germany) said in his presentation that there are certain challenges in the production cycle of composite materials. In his opinion the cost of manufacturing is quite expensive for mass production. The process of production from materials to final products is very complicated. The cost of new materials is more expensive by a few times than the cost of traditional ones. For example, one kilo of steel costs EUR 5; you will pay EUR 10 for aluminium and EUR 20 for carbon fiber. Here we are return to the need for detailed and professional presentations of the advantages of composite materials to the manufacturers of the final products. In addition, another extremely relevant issue is the market demand which needs to be formed. Speaking about long-term projects related to products design from composite materials, Mr. Dotagen cited the BMW Group as an example. The company plans to spend 11 years in designing of a new generation of autobumper. There were a few other important issues mentioned by the presenter, such as the lack of composite materials repair technology, and recycling.

Session speakers shared their experiences and spoke about technology and proposed equipment for the industry.


Accordingly, the German company «VIRTEK» has offered solutions for work with prepregs and composite materials. Whenever there is a need to lay-out, cut out, and stick, companies can use the systems offered by VIRTEK. In addition, the company proposes a quality control system which also helps to reduce the production cycle to 20 minutes.


The representative from the Hungarian company “AVANA”, which is involved in design and manufacture of aircraft as well as production of composite material parts s for some other industries, spoke about the project “Amphibian”. While designing such aircraft the key task was to consider a few factors: the range and height of flight, comfort inside the aircraft, its ability to land on water which is considered to be a very unstable and dangerous surface. The company faced certain difficulties when it realized that there were no available items which met the complex requirements and that they should be designed from scratch. The solution was found in new innovative materials and technology.


A German expert from “CMP” described the composite design process, mentioned the importance of engineering for expense reductions, and spoke about integrated solutions offered by the company which provide additional quality control, minimizing the “human factor” risk.


A few companies spoke at the conference about the importance of their cooperation with Russian business. The German “LIBA” representative mentioned a close partnership of the company with Composite Holding Company that purchased the equipment for work with carbon filament.

In summing up, the participants discussed the fact that the conference has become a unique event for presentation of new equipment and technology, experience sharing and establishing business connections in the composite industry.

There is a big future for the industry. Soon, it will be impossible to imagine our day-to-day life without innovation materials. There are enormous tasks and aims for the industry to be achieved, that need to be done as soon as possible. Russia does not have 11 years to design new autobumpers. Considering the dynamic and very aggressive development of the industry in other countries, Russia must evolve much faster. The demand for innovative materials is growing and we must respond promptly. For example, the wind energy sector is growing in leaps and bounds by 25% every year, and it needs composite materials to keep up. With the State’s attention and support to the industry, and if qualified scientists and engineers are used properly, Russia can and is simply obliged to move forward much faster than our competitors, improving people’s lives by offering cheap, clever and comfortable innovative materials. 


System of external reinforcement

The reinforcement system based on a carbon cloth can restore and increase the carrying capacity of structures in a short time and less effort than traditional methods, as well as significantly increase the life of the structure.

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