Brazilian Composites Sector Grew by 5.6% in 2019

May 18 2020

In 2019, the Brazilian composites sector achieved the third consecutive year of growth, with a turnover of US$ 560 million, a figure 5.6% higher than that recorded in the previous period. In volume, the jump was 8.3%, totaling 218 thousand tons consumed. The data are part of the most recent study by Maxiquim, a consultancy contracted by the Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO)
“The transportation and electric segments were mainly responsible for this good performance. Also noteworthy is the increase in demand from the marine market, although it represents little in terms of volume. The civil construction industry, in turn, was less important in 2019, although it continues to lead the ranking of the main Brazilian composites consumers”, summarized Erika Bernardino Apra, president of ALMACO.

According to the Maxiquim survey, civil construction accounted for 32% of Brazilian consumption of polyester composites, ahead of transport (27%), corrosion/sanitation (22%), electricity (4%), wind energy (4%) and marine (2%). When the demand for composites based on epoxy resin was separated, the generation of wind energy led with 89%, ahead of oil and gas (6%) and electronics (2%).

Of the 218 thousand tons of raw materials processed last year, the survey pointed to the following division: polyester resin (114 thousand), fiberglass (60 thousand), epoxy resin (21 thousand), gelcoat (12.5 thousand) , ester-vinyl resin (2.3 thousand), structural adhesive (2.2 mil), carbon fiber (2.6 mil) and others (4 mil), as peroxides, additives and mineral fillers.

Regarding the processes adopted by the Brazilian composites manufacturers, manual technologies, such as hand lay-up and spray-up, appeared with a 52% share, followed by automated systems, such as RTM (8%), pultrusion ( 7%), filament winding (6%), continuous lamination (5%), BMC/SMC (5%), infusion (4%) and others (12%).

Maxiquim's research was completed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, data on expectations for 2020 had to be disregarded, noted the president of ALMACO. “Nobody knows for sure how much damage the strike will do to the economy as a whole. We are waiting for further developments to redo the study and disclose new perspectives on the composites market”.

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