ACMA’s CGI Funding Will Help Grow Composites Industry

Four projects have been funded by the Composites Growth Initiative (CGI) of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) that will help grow the market for composites and allow them to compete on a level playing field with traditional materials like steel, concrete, wood and aluminum.

CGI committees are comprised of industry leaders exclusively from ACMA-member companies who lend their expertise to market growth and expansion for composites. ACMA members get access to potential customers and project leads. The CGI Fund provides the means of implementing these ideas into action.

“Funding these projects is one of ACMA’s investments in the future to help build and secure a vibrant, expanding market for composites,” says Leon Garoufalis, president and COO of Composites One, LLC, and co-chair of the CGI Committee. “The quality and breadth of the submissions was impressive. We believe that the selected projects will help to advance the industry by addressing three critical areas: increasing market outreach, developing standards and specifications and penetrating new and emerging markets.”

The projects funded were as follows:

Market Outreach: Taking Composites to End Users

  • Exhibit at the International Bridge Conference. The Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012 (MAP 21) is paving the way for composites to become the material and product of choice for transportation structures repair and replacement. The Transportation Structures Council has exhibited at this leading industry conference for 13 years. This grant will ensure their continued presence and support their efforts to educate this market about the benefits of composites for transportation infrastructure.

Standards and Specification: Leveling the Playing Field with Traditional Materials

  • Recommended Practice and Guide Specification for Architectural Fiberglass Products. Architects, building engineers, construction specifiers, general contractors and others will be able to confidently recommend composites in place of traditional materials in the architectural and building segments. The third printing of this critical document will include new information and updates.

  • National Specifications for Utility and Communication Structures. Greater acceptance of composites across the utility industry and in government agencies will be possible with an ACMA/ANSI approved standard for utility poles. The standard will help establish guidelines for specifiers that will enable more widespread purchasing of composite poles.

Penetrating New and Emerging Markets: The Promise of “Green” Growth

  • Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Tool to Calculate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Traditional materials are already establishing their environmental impact in competition for “green” contracts, but composites lags behind in this burgeoning market. This tool will take the data established in phase 1 with the development of LCI data and make it accessible and usable to members allowing them to calculate LCA for their products.

The CGI committees were established to help fulfill ACMA’s Mission Statement to “increase awareness of potential market advantages of utilizing composite materials.” Membership and participation in CGI committees are open only to ACMA members.

Representing more than 3,000 companies, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is the world's largest trade group representing the composites industry, providing strong, proactive leadership in technical, government and regulatory affairs. In the U.S. alone, the composites industry employs about 550,000 people and generates almost $70 billion in revenues per year.

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