The Composites Cluster represents and advances the interests of and commercial opportunities in the composites sector in South Africa.
The Cluster is a resource to industry, new entrants, innovators and researchers as we collectively seek to do business with improved cost, quality and delivery, according to global best practice. Particular benefits, and cluster-oriented learning will accrue to members of the cluster.
What are Composites?
Composites are materials that are made by combining plastics or resins with reinforcing fibres such as glass fibres, carbon fibres or natural fibres. The oldest example of composites are the wattle and daub dwellings found throughout Africa thousands of years ago. Composites are part of traditional African culture and truly South Africa’s oldest advanced manufacturing technology. In addition to housing and construction, composites are nowadays a key technology for transporting water, food and people, the production of renewable energy and for connecting people via the phone or the internet.
Composites are ‘light-weight’
Composites are not only strong, they are also feather light, which make them ideal for reducing the weight of cars, aircraft, trains and boats. Lighter vehicles mean that you require less fuel to get from A to B, which reduces the cost of travel, or which allows you to travel further without having to stop for fuel. Who does not want this at the current fuel prices? Using less fuel is also better for the environment, which makes composites a ‘green’ technology.
Composites don’t rust
Unlike metals, composites don’t rust and are therefore the ideal material for developing South Africa’s Ocean Economy through the production of boats, oil & gas installation, wind turbines, deep sea mining equipment, maritime patrol aircraft, aquaculture cages, waterfronts and harbours. No rust means less maintenance cost.
By changing the type of fibres, the amount of fibres and the type of plastic, engineers can design not only the shape of a product but even customize the material it is made. Composites therefore provide an additional dimension for innovation! Made in South Africa, customized for Africa!
For more information about the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster please contact: