A composite cluster has been created in Moscow. Will that allow the production and consumption of composites to achieve a qualitatively new level?
A Moscow composite cluster has been created with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Moscow government. The creation of the cluster will allow the production and consumption of composites in the capital to achieve a qualitatively new level and will give the city the status of being the all-Russia capital of composites.
It is now Moscow’s turn
The RF Ministry of Trade and Industry has prepared methodological recommendations on the development of regional programs for the implementation and practical application of composites in the sphere of construction. Such programs are now being developed in different places: the Leningrad, Smolensk, and Volgograd regions, the Saint-Petersburg and Khabarovsk areas, etc. And now it’s Moscow’s turn.
The regional composites production industry development program project for 2016-2020 was considered at the sitting of the Integrated Scientific-Technical Council on construction and urban development.
— We are planning to increase composite materials production and consumption volumes on the territory of Moscow, to create new and update old plants, to organize new jobs, said the Deputy Director of the urban development policy department of Moscow, Oleg Ryndin.
Among the initiators of the cluster are the leading players on the composites market of the Moscow region. Anatoly Alexandrov, principal of the Moscow State Technical University named after N.E. Bauman, became the Chair of the Board.
Currently, the cluster includes 60 Moscow organizations, among which are those involved with primary materials, technological equipment, final products and service enterprises. It gives them the opportunity to create loop-circuit manufacture and marketing of products, Oleg Ryndin declared.
For further development of innovative companies, innovative infrastructure is planned: three technology parks. They will unite scientific research institutes, industrial objects, business centers, exhibition grounds, and educational institutions.
Let’s count to three!
One of the three technology parks being developed is Technopolis Moscow, where there are several companies from the Moscow composite cluster, including “Nanotechnological Composite Center” Ltd., manufacturing products by vacuum forming.
Claims for projects on industry development in the capital are arriving for the consideration of the Board of the Moscow composite cluster. The projects are being analyzed, with their business efficiency and practicability as well as their social components being taken under consideration.
Only the best projects are being selected: they must be economically justified and relevant to the city. 12 investment projects with a total investment volume of 4 bln rubles a year are in a high state of readiness at present. By the way, if in 2015 composites to the tune of 4 bln rubles were used, in 2016 this will grow 1.5-fold, to 6 bln rubles.
— By 2020, the volumes of annual consumption of composites on the territory of Moscow will reach 50 bln rubles, Oleg Ryndin said. — Composite materials production volumes may total 15.5 bln rubles a year, and 750 highly productive jobs will be created at 50 environmentally friendly enterprises. Besides this, additional investment will be attracted to the Moscow economy. So, some productions sectors will get fresh impetus.
A composite is an artificially created non-homogeneous material consisting of two or more components with a definite interface. Reinforcing elements as a rule provides for the strength and harnessing of the material, and a matrix protects against mechanical damage and an aggressive chemical environment.
The USA, Europe, Japan and China are the leaders in the world market of composites – about 75% of the market is occupied by them.
Composite materials are widely used owing to their high strength, corrosion resistance, low specific gravity and durability. They are used in transportation infrastructure and utilities objects construction, as well as in civil and industrial works.
Western specialists are not surprised by the growth of the initial cost of material expenses, as the maintenance free life cycle of the construction increases.
…and what prevents us from being like them
However, by expert assessments, polymer composites consumption in Russia is only about 0.5—2% of world volume. And Moscow is not an exception: composites are rarely used on Moscow construction sites. Yes, they are used, but only occasionally; the process is not systematic. What is the reason for this?
There are several, but the main one is the dependence on quality primary materials and high-tech equipment import as well as the absence of integrated all-Russia norms and regulations for structure design and standards.
As Oleg Ryndin explained to journalists, there are barriers that prevent investors from using composite materials more widely.
— Our task is to learn to use composites in construction, and to take away the barriers which prevent investors from using them, the official remarked.
According to him, the application of composites is not sufficiently defined in standards, regulations and specifications. Their economic efficiency has not been studied well enough, and there are problems with experts’ evaluation and economic efficiency assessment.
— In short, we do not have enough experience in the sphere, Ryndin admitted.
They are expected to be used in the military-industrial complex
The imperfections of the regulatory bases become clear, for example, while conducting tenders for the delivery of composite polymer reinforcement (CPR). In the course of tenders, prudent companies manufacturing quality products meeting all the requirements of technical standards documents often do not get contracts. What’s the reason? Inadequately lowered costs from the competition, with their low quality products.
The demand for services connected with the illegal provision of documents on the safety of the products (which do not correspond to requirements) gives rise to offers from dummy labs and certification bodies. There are cases of false certificates made to order of producers and deliverers of CPR without the necessary testing having been carried out. The present situation discredits the concept of composites and their application itself.
In the opinion of Sergei Sokol, Director General of one of the companies producing composites, their implementation is becoming difficult because of the absence of skilled personnel for designing, manufacturing and service.
All of this demands complex scientific industrial restructuring of the industry, the production output of which is impossible in the 21st century without composite structures use. The implementation of the technology is possible only on condition of all the consolidation of all interested participants’ efforts, so the producers should unite for the promotion of their industry.
— Now we are seeing a serious struggle for the money allotted by the state, Sergei Sokol said. — It is mainly military industries that are financed, and this money should be gradually transferred to the civil sector.
As Alexei Davidiuk, Director of the Concrete and Reinforced Concrete Research Institute, said, the demand for composites consumption is now being stimulated only by administrative methods. State enterprises and federation subjects are being asked to present reports on composites implementation, but this does not influence their mass usage.
Those using them will get subsidies
To effectively change the situation, the capital’s government will support with subsidies those who are ready to take part in the application of innovative materials, including composites.
An expert committee on innovation technologies and technical solutions, headed by Oleg Ryndin, has been created under the Department of Urban Development of Moscow. According to Ryndin, residential construction and utilities are the spheres in which it is necessary to expand the application of these materials.
Composites may also be used in the construction of state-orderd objects, in experimental projects in particular.
The situation will change only if constructors and utilities providers are obliged to use composite materials items in the course of construction and repair. Otherwise we’ll tail behind in technical progress in this sphere.