In 2021, open-die forming methods - hand lay-up and spray-up - produced a total of 232,000 tonnes, an increase of 11%. They remain one of the largest segments of the European GRP market.
At the moment, this very positive development is a reversal of the general trend. The overall market share of the open-die method has been steadily declining over the years. However, with the outbreak, the demand for some specific uses has increased significantly. For example, the construction of home swimming pools has caught fire in many places due to the lockdown and its associated travel restrictions.
Overall, the open mold forming process will still make an important contribution to the production of GRP in the coming years. In fact, they are often the preferred method, especially in the field of custom or low-volume products, because of their lower investment costs.
However, persistent and increasingly stringent operating regulations, especially on unsaturated polyester/styrene, and changes in other raw material limits have made these processes increasingly expensive and difficult to produce in Europe.