The global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market size was valued at USD 10.60 billion in 2014.High weight to strength ratio is expected to foster the global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market over the forecast period. The growing need for lightweight materials from end-use industries is also projected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Increasing penetration in the aerospace industry is likely to drive the global demand.
Fuel efficiency is directly associated with the vehicular weight. Automotive and aircraft manufacturers have been focusing on weight reduction to increase product effectiveness and energy effectiveness. Use of carbon fiber composite materials is the best suitable option to curb the overall weight.
Different grades of carbon fiber reinforced plastic are required for various applications. Aerospace applications require its highest grade while for producing sports equipment lower grades can be used. CFRP grades mainly depend upon the raw material grade used and the manufacturing process. Thus, key manufacturers produce their raw materials in-house and utilize it to gain the competitive advantage.
Stringent regulations imposed increase fuel efficiency in Europe and the U.S. has forced manufacturers to focus on automotive weight reduction which has had a direct impact on its demand. In spite of extraordinary benefits offered by carbon fiber reinforced plastic, its high cost has restrained its penetration across various application segments.
Involvement of key manufacturers in low-cost product development is expected to create new avenues for major participant over the next few years. Efforts towards the development of carbon fiber reinforced plastic on bio-composites are also anticipated to create new opportunities in the global market.
Global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market revenue, by raw material, 2012-2022 (USD Million)
Raw Material Insights
Key raw materials include polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and petroleum pitch.Superior properties of PAN-based CFRP over pitch-based CFRP are expected to drive polyacrylonitrile demand for CFRP production over the forecast period. An advantage in the production of pitch carbon fibers over PAN carbon fibers is that Pitch carbon fibers do not require constant tension on the fibers at all processing stages.
PAN-based CFRP accounted for 96.1% to total market volume in 2014. Existing excessive capacities of PAN-based CFRP is projected to drive the segment over the forecast period. Pitch-based CFRP is expected to reach USD 6,499.5 million by 2022, growing at an estimated CAGR of 9.1% from 2015 to 2022.
On the basis of its product, carbon fiber reinforced plastic can be segmented as thermosetting and thermoplastic. Thermosetting type holds the maximum share of total market volume on account of its prolonged presence in the industry. Thermosetting resin is traditionally being used for CFRP production and thus hold significant market share.
However, thermoplastic CFRP is expected to gain popularity on account of its superior properties over the other. Conventional CFRP used thermosetting resin hardens when reheated, requiring several minutes or hours to mold the desired shape, it is not suitable as a material for mass-produced automobiles.
This disadvantage can be overcome with the use of thermoplastic CFRP. This material softens when heated, making it suitable for molding. Higher demand for CFRP molded parts is expected to foster the product demand over the forecast period.
Key carbon fiber reinforced plastic applications include automotive, aerospace, wind turbines, molding & compound, construction, sporting equipment and pressure vessels. Aerospace & defense was the leading application segment and accounted for 30% of the total volume in 2014.
High penetration can be associated with increasing demand for lightweight and fuel efficient aircraft. Growing commercial aviation sector is expected to influence its demand from aerospace application segment.
Global carbon fiber reinforced plastic demand in the automotive application is anticipated to exceed USD 2.50 billion by 2022, growing at an estimated CAGR of 12.3% from 2015 to 2022. Increasing need for fuel efficient and lightweight vehicles is expected to drive carbon fiber reinforced plastic demand in this segment.
North America dominated the global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market and accounted for over 35%of total volume consumed in 2014. Europe is expected to be the fastest growing regional market throughout the forecast period. Europe carbon fiber reinforced plastic market is expected to exceed USD 9.50 billion by 2022.
The presence of major aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus in addition to defense equipment manufacturers such as MBDA, in the region has triggered CFRP demand in Europe. The presence of automotive giants such as Volkswagen, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW and Audi, etc. which emphasis on low weight high-performance cars has triggered the regional demand. Stringent regulations in addition to the proactive efforts initiated from European automotive manufacturers are expected to foster the growth over the forecast period.
The global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market is highly concentrated in nature. Some of the leading companies operating in the global market include Toray Industries, Inc., Zoltek Companies, Inc., Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., and SGL Group, and Formosa Plastics. These manufacturers accounted for over 75% of the total market in 2014.
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