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A-NZ President letter

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

SPE: A-NZ Newsletter by the President

An article on Hexcel and HP Composites development of carbon fiber Class A body panels in automotive published by Grace Nehls in Composites World prompted this Newsletter.

When I commenced my career in the plastics industry, I owned a red Alfa Romeo Giulia. It was a privilege.

At the end of this Newsletter I have included a modern version of an Alfa Romeo as shown in the aforementioned article. It will attract attention from all of us associated with the plastics industry in Australia, if only because of the design, composition and colour.

Why do I bring up an application in automotive when the automotive manufacturing industry is hardly represented in Australia? With the current attention to anything included in the largest application area of plastics, i.e. the packaging industry, one could be mistaken that only PET, HDPE, PP and LDPE are of importance to our plastics industry because that is where the current focus is with regard to preserving our resources.

This focus is warranted as plastics are finding its way to the consumer because these materials are versatile and relatively cheap. Nothing new you will say.

I urge you as a plastics professional to not forget other polymer materials and their applications. It appears that we have done ourselves a disservice by letting the automotive industry disappear from Australia. Globally, it is still a magnet of innovation as demonstrated by the Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition (ACCE) and its award winners organised each year by the SPE.

In Australia we are still fortunate to have many other application areas and processes being represented in the industry and even being supported by their own associations.

For those of you being a member of SPE, make use of your membership and enhance your knowledge of polymers used in other application areas so you can benefit from this broad knowledge by applying it elsewhere. Having this knowledge will provide you with an advantage as you can make use of it in your job. Make sure that management in your company is aware of this advantage provided by membership with the SPE.

Photo Credit: Hexcel, HP Composites

With kind regards,

Han Michel


SPE: A-NZ Section Ltd

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