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CESA accredited course
Attendees at the course earn 1 CPD point

R 995.00 for non-members
R 495.00 for registered cluster participants

Course Description
Ask any global expert what the first step is in a career in composites and the answer will most likely be:      “ forget everything you have learned about metals”.
The education of engineers and technicians is built on metal principles.  These same metal principles form the foundation of manufacturing management and technology entrepreneurship courses.
Being a cross-over between engineering and chemistry, composite technology requires a different foundation for developing products, setting up production facilities, running manufacturing companies and conducting business.
This ‘Think Composites!’ course aims to ‘unlearn metals’ and to build a composite foundation that covers not only the various aspects of materials, manufacturing and design, but more importantly the unbreakable link between these three elements. The latter is a fundamental difference with metal technology and a common source for failing composite products and businesses.

Outcomes of course
The main outcome of the course is to recognize and understand the differences between metals and composites and how they impact the engineering, manufacturing and business environment. The course will beef up the engineering angle of participants with a chemistry background, and add a polymer chemistry flavor to engineering participants.
The theory presented combined with industry best practices will assist participants with identifying, avoiding and solving common mistakes in composite design and manufacturing.
The ‘Think Composites!’ course prepares participants for follow-up composite courses and composite courses which are sector specific (e.g. advanced aerospace composites or boat building courses).

Stop thinking metals and start thinking composites before you do any further education to progress a career in composites.  

All participants receive:
•    Printed course-book.
•    CD with Standard Workshop Procedures (SWPs) compiled by the local industry. These SWPs package international best practices covering a wide range of materials and processes, design methods and production facilities. The practical nature of the SWPs combined with the theoretical background of the course itself, provide a valuable basis from which to establish, improve and even certify composite facilities and products.
•    A 30-minutes, 30 question multiple choice exam for self-evaluation purposes.
•    A certificate of attendance.

Who should Attend
The ‘Think Composites!’ 1-day course is essential for anyone who:
has started a career in composites, is thinking about a career in composites,  or who is involved in the support, development and production of any composite products or the companies making them.
Although the primary focus is on developing the technical workforce for the industry, the course is presented in such a way that it also adds value for non-technical managers of manufacturing companies and manufacturing-related policy makers. The course introduces a common platform and terminology from which industry, academia and government representatives can engage and build partnerships.

Contact [email protected] for more details





Farmers and interested parties have begun to discuss opportunities in the off take of Kenaf fibre for both composites as well as plastics applications.

An Agricultural Research Council (ARC) farmers’ day in Winterton on the 8 February, was a a useful pre-cursor to ensuing discussions.

The IDC, which has an interest in the Sustainable Fibre Solutions (SFS) factory as well as the KZN Department of Agriculture have shown interest given that the newly adopted farming as well as fibre extraction practices might represent the breakthrough that South Africa has been needing for this crop.

The project team agreed to make the most of the fibre coming off the 5Ha trial and are actively pursuing industry for this purpose. The commercial aspects of the fibre as a natural reinforcement for composites will be discussed in Durban shortly. Anyone wishing to know more about the fibre are welcome to contact Andy Radford:



JEC World

JEC World

International Composites Event

March 14,15,16 2017



South Africa’s discussion with France on co-operation around the development of composites has been hailed by the burgeoning composites sector in South Africa.

The Mandela Bay Composites Cluster, supported by the dti, and tasked with representing and advancing the interests of and commercial opportunities in the composites sector in South Africa, said the development showed serious intent from South Africa to extract economic benefits through the development of composites in manufacturing.

“What is clear and highly satisfying is that the dti is implementing tangible initiatives to boost advanced manufacturing in the country, which has pockets of excellence, but on the whole requires development and support,” said Mandela Bay Composites Cluster Director Dr Kjelt van Rijswijk.

Van Rijswijk said the agreement with France to cooperate on composite technology was the latest outcome of the joint efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster (MBCC) in support of the local composites industry.

“This effort has previously resulted in the inclusion of composites in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), international trade promotion activities and the establishment of the MBCC itself, ” van Rijswijk said.

According to an issued statement, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies had a courtesy meeting with the new French Ambassador to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud in Cape Town.

The meeting emphasised composites as a sector that the two countries could cooperate on. South Africa is new in composite manufacturing while France is the leader in the sector.

Minister Davies says South Africa would like to see investments and technical collaboration in composite applications.

“Strengthening of relations between the South African and French businesses on composites and advanced manufacturing in general will create opportunities for both countries. Advanced manufacturing is viewed as a sector for future economic growth. There are several investment opportunities for French businesses in the South African composite sector and advanced manufacturing,” states Davies.

The sectors that the two countries can cooperate on will be further discussed at the Joint Economic Commission between South Africa and France in Paris at the end of March. The work agenda of economic relations between South Africa and France is coordinated through the South Africa – France Joint Economic Commission (SA – France JEC).


Total trade between South Africa and France has grown by an annual average rate of 6.2% from 2010 to 2015. Currently major South Africa’s exports to France include vehicles, aircrafts, machinery and automobiles, while imports from France include pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic equipment, turbo jets and vaccines for human use.


“The MBCC and its cluster participants will continue to work together with thedti and the French Embassy to turn the recent agreement into a portfolio of composite relevant activities, which will include attending the JEC composites trade show in France in 2018,” van Rijswijk said.


“The MBCC applauds local and overseas Government representatives for their efforts in supporting the composites industry.”