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15th March 2019, Delft

Dutch composites industry launches national collaboration agenda

CompositesNL represents the interests of all parties in the Netherlands involved in the development, manufacturing, maintenance and re-use of products using composite technology. © CompositesNL

CompositesNL represents the interests of all parties in the Netherlands involved in the development, manufacturing, maintenance and re-use of products using composite technology. © CompositesNL

The Dutch composites industry was present at the JEC World 2019 in Paris this week. Dutch companies and research institutions highlighted their materials, process technology and innovative applications in many market sectors and in the area of automation and digitisation. “Thanks to our cutting-edge technology, a wide variety of applications, and a successful triple-helix model for collaboration, the Netherlands is one of the most advanced European countries in the composites industry,” said CompositesNL.

At the show, the sector presented the National Composites Collaboration Agenda, in close cooperation between the private sector, the public sector, research institutions, and the top sectors HTSM and Chemistry. For the first time, the innovation activities in the Netherlands have been combined in a single agenda at a national level, creating more unity and improved mutual alignment, putting the Dutch composites sector internationally in a stronger position.

Additionally, the agenda aims to achieve even better collaboration. Composites involve many industries, with applications in many market sectors. “All these applications require the use of different materials, designs and production technologies, but the various parties also face similar challenges. We can also learn a lot by collaborating across industry borders,” the association continues.

The ambition of this agenda is to make a material contribution to a more sustainable society, and to set an example internationally. The low weight of composite materials enables reduction of energy consumption.

“If we reduce the weight of the structure of aeroplanes by 10% using materials developed in the Netherlands, such as fibre-metal laminates or thermoplastics, and use this in single-aisle aircraft, we can achieve a worldwide CO2 reduction equal to 50% of the emission in the Netherlands in 2016. We have demonstrated that a 10% weight reduction is a realistic expectation,” explained Prof Dr Engr Rinze Benedictus, head of the Aerospace Structures & Materials department at the Delft University of Technology.

“Composites have a longer lifespan than conventional materials, thus lowering the ecological impact of the products. The Netherlands can play a leading role in this; we have all the required knowledge and skills. In addition to helping the Netherlands, it also creates a great product for the export market.”

The Dutch composites industry focuses on these key aspects for the realisation of the technological development and the related ambition: growing faster than the international average and doubling the present turnover (2018: EUR 1.0 billion) by 2030.

www.compositesnl.nl

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