Looking back at the international conference Polymer Composites 2021

On October 26th and 27th, another year of this traditional conference took place again in the LH Hotel Dvořák conference center in Tábor. The event was organized by the Association for Technical Support and Promotion of Polymer Composites (www.polymer-composites.cz) in cooperation with the Expert Group of Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures, SYNPO Pardubice, Havel Composites Svésedlice, SAERTEX Saerbeck, STTA Plzeň and CTU Prague, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The conference was sponsored by the city of Tábor, the mayor opened the meeting with a short speech, highlighting the location of this important event for the second time in this memorable city and acquainted the participants with its rich history and sights.

The organizing committee of the conference had to face a number of difficulties in preparing and implementing this year’s event with regard to the situation caused by the ongoing pandemic – first the transfer from the traditional date in May to June and finally the final timing at the end of October.

Due to these extraordinary circumstances, the conference was attended by fewer experts, out of a total of 56, only 4 were from abroad and therefore simultaneous interpretation of papers was abandoned, the authors of the lectures met the organizers’ request and the pictures and graphs were mostly in English.

Introductory plenary lecture by prof. Milan Růžička “Fatigue of composite materials” provided a comprehensive view of this issue, which is essential for the construction and use of polymer composites in practice.

Papers in the section Design and analyses were devoted to mathematical models for calculations and optimization of part structures with respect to the assumed stress. The Technology and applications section dealt with a number of examples of the practical use of polymer composites and innovations in production technology. In the most abundant section Materials, properties and testing, participants were introduced to a number of new materials and their properties, such as innovations in the field of investigation of fracture properties of composites, structural sandwich foam from Saertex development, electrospinning of composite nanofiber materials from laboratories  TUL Liberec and the possibilities of hybrid materials from natural fibers. The professional program ended with a discussion of the participants with the authors of the poster section.

A welcome addition was the associated exhibition of many research institutes and companies, this platform allowed participants not only to get acquainted with modern materials and devices, but especially to establish many new contacts and exchange experiences with colleagues. This important part of the conference continued in the form of informal discussions during the social evening.

The flawless organization and catering provided by the LH Hotel Dvořák Tábor also contributed to the success of the event, this conference center will probably become the venue for the next year’s Polymer composites 2023 conference , hopefully in the usual May term.