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Composites can offer cost and time benefits

Composite materials can offer time and cost benefits for infrastructure projects, according to Frédérique Mutel, president and CEO, JEC. Mutel told this to Construction Week (India) ahead of the JEC Composite Asia Show 2009 to be held in Singapore.

“Composites used in prefabricated systems are easy to integrate. Being light weight, they require less labour and associated costs. Composites do not rust and are much more durable than many conventional materials. Consequently, maintenance costs are also reduced,” she said.

Mutel also underlined the fact that use of composites is also environment friendly since it generates little or no waste. “Moreover, composites allow for new aesthetics due to the flexibility they offer in designing complex shapes and structures,” she stated.

Another interesting application of composites, highlighted by Mutel, is the rehabilitation of infrastructures such as bridges, cabling under constraints, old or historical buildings. “Besides, composites are more and more used in seismic areas due to their inherent qualities,” she added.

With regards to the building segment, Mutel said that composites are useful in partitions, facades and claddings to improve thermal and sound insulation. Apparently, they allow good management of light on facades.

“Composites materials provide reasonable solutions to build low cost or emergency houses or residencies in reduced times with tubes and panels that can be assembled in a few days,” she informed.

JEC is an international group that works for spreading awareness about the use of composite materials across industries. In India, JEC collaborates with the Chennai based FRP Institute.

Currently, the construction industry is the biggest market for composite materials in India with industrial applications and automotive segment being the other important sectors. “Another promising sector for us is wind energy. It is expected to increase its share from 16% to 28% in 2013,” Mutel said.

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