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The Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO) focuses on the integration and development of the composites industry in the region. Founded in 2011 by the Brazilian Composite Materials Association (ABMACO), the ALMACO has regional headquarters – the Chilean, already in operation – and the central administration located in Brazil. ABMACO was established in 1981 and represents the entire production chain of composites or fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP), a material that has over 40,000 applications catalogued worldwide, from water storage tanks and pipes to aircraft and rocket parts. ABMACO has 300 members and holds, together with IPT - Institute for Technological Research, the Composites Technology Center (CETECOM), the largest of its kind in Latin America.

Sales in the Brazilian industry of composite materials totaled R$ 733 million in the first quarter, corresponding to an increase of 1.6% in comparison with the last quarter of 2011, and a 2.5% growth when compared to the same period of the previous year. The figures are from Maxiquim, a consulting firm hired by the Latin American Composite Materials Association.

In terms of volume of raw materials consumed, there has been a 6.9% decrease, totaling 55,400 tons, but an 18.3% increase, considering the first quarter of 2011. "Composite molders have turned the year with high stocks, which explains the gap between sales and consumption," says Gilmar Lima, president of ALMACO.

The demand for raw materials was also affected by the increase of automated processes, which indicate rates of waste significantly lower than the manual processes. According to Maxiquim's survey, the share of manual molding in Brazil fell from 55% in 2010 to 51% last year. "It is an irreversible global trend, primarily supported by economic and environmental issues," he says.

The survey also indicates an increase of 5.4% in the sector's revenue in the second quarter, reaching R$ 773 million. For this year, sales are expected to total R$ 3,189 billion, thus corresponding to an increase of 11.8% – 224,000 tons, in volume (+7.9%). "The main sectors responsible for such growth will be the agricultural and transportation sectors," says Lima.

In 2011, the construction sector led the Brazilian consumption of composites, with 45% of the total processed, ahead of transportation (18%), corrosion (12%) and sanitation (7%). The applications in wind power – which use special composites based on epoxy resins - consumed 44,700 tons and generated a turnover of R$ 625 million.

Resulting from the combination of thermosetting resins and reinforcements - such as fiber glass – composite materials are known by the high rates of mechanical and chemical resistance, and by their versatility. There are over 40,000 applications catalogued worldwide, from water storage tanks and pipes to parts of boats and airplanes.

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Av.Professor Almeida Prado, 532 Prédio 31 - Térreo Sala 1 - Cidade Universitária - CEP: 05508-901 - São Paulo - SP
Tel/Fax: +55 (11) 3719-0098 | E-mail: almaco@almaco.org.br