Highlights of the 2011 International AVK Conference

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Speakers presented their insights into the latest market developments and trends in the area of fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) in two series of lectures.

The annual glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) market report presented by Dr Elmar Witten, Managing Director of AVK, pointed out that "a simple comparison of this year's figures with those from 2010 shows that the overall production volume of GRP has grown moderately and is now at the same level as in 2008."

"However, the expectations expressed last year, when we still expected a full recovery from the consequences of the economic crisis by 2012/2013, have not been fulfilled ...," said Dr Michael Effing, Chairman, AVK, and Director, DSM Composite Resins. 

BYK-Chemie, Chemowerk, DSM Composite Resins, Freudenberg Forschungsdienste and Wolfangel sponsored the Student Recruitment Exchange founded by the AVK a number of years ago to promote the development of new talent in the sector. The contributions of these sponsors enable students to attend the AVK conference free-of-charge. This gives them a chance to meet potential future employers and is an opportunity for companies to develop contacts with the next generation.

The AVK Conference concluded with a panel discussion titled The Future of Fibre Reinforced Plastics in the Automotive Sector. Car manufacturers were represented by Hans Schwager, Head of Plastics Development/Process Engineering at BMW AG and Dr Thomas Schuh, Head of Polymer Technology, Daimler AG – Mercedes-Benz Cars, with Dr Ulrich Riedel, Director New Technologies Biomaterials & Structural Composites, Johnson Controls GmbH, representing supplier industries to the automotive sector.