EDC attends Carbon Fiber Conference

Posted on Dec 19, 2014

Carbon Fiber ConferenceOne hundred and eighty people representing over 95 companies attended Composite World’s Carbon Fiber 2014 conference in San Diego, CA.

Presentations during the two day conference covered a variety of topics including forecasts for the industry, challenges in production, supply and demand updates, the future of recycling composite materials and more.

“It was a lot to digest in just a short time,” said Jonathan Smith, Executive Director for the Grant County EDC. “There were over 20 presentations so it was a pretty comprehensive overview of the state of the Carbon Fiber industry and what the future looks like.”

Andreas Wüllner, Managing Director for SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers was one of the presenters. He gave an overview of the five year process the company has gone through to create a completely new composites production supply chain. One of the key pieces of that supply chain is the SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers plant in Grant County where the feedstock for the textile composites is carbonized.

SGL’s Grant County facility is the largest carbon fiber manufacturing facility in the world with an output capacity of 9,000 metric tons. One estimate of future growth was that in the next five years there will be demand for an additional 40,000 metric tons of carbon fiber.

“This is a rapidly growing industry,” Smith explained. “There has been double digit growth in production for about ten years now. The fastest growth for the next five years is going to come from industrial applications and aerospace. We are positioned well to see some of that growth happen here in Grant County.”