Boost for composites in South Africa

Composite manufacturer BFG Africa has reportedly opened a facility in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa.   The 9,500m2 factory will reportedly produce materials made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) for infrastructure, wind, mining, automotive, transport and architectural applications, in particular interiors and claddings, wind turbines and automotive parts. Manufacturing processes available include tooling, open contact molding, resin transfer molding, painting, sheet molding compound (SMC) material production, SMC press molding, vacuum infusion, assembly and product integration.   BFG Africa is majority black-owned, with 51% acquired in June 2018 by financial services group Mergence.   ‘We were delighted to provide BFG International with a local partner that can assist with unlocking further opportunities in the composites space,’ said Masimo Magerman, Mergence MD. ‘Our objective is job creation and skills development and to grow the black industrialist sector in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.’   As an initial contract with the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, BFG Africa will clad the interiors of a fleet of 600 commuter trains. The company says that it is also working on an affordable emergency housing solution, whereby lightweight collapsible structures can be transported and erected within hours to disaster areas.   ‘Composites fibreglass has replaced conventional materials in locomotive, buildings and specialised applications,’ said MD of BFG Africa, Arshad Gove. ‘Composites fibreglass as a ‘material of the future’ has an imprint in many developed nations and we are excited to be leading the charge with applications in Africa in areas of architecture, rail and transport, wind energy, housing and many other areas by using this advanced material.’

This story uses material from BFG Africa, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.