The global composites market size was USD 66.61 billion in 2015 and is expected to experience substantial growth over the next eight years owing to its growing demand from various application industries including transportation, aerospace & defense, electrical & electronics, wind energy, construction & infrastructure, automotive interiors, pipes & tanks, and marine. The composites market is projected to witness a significant growth owing to its high corrosion resistance, strength, and thermal conductivity performance properties.
Composites are majorly manufactured by using layup process. The layup process accounted for 30.9% of the global composites market revenue share in 2015. Owing to its low operational expenditure and versatility in producing a broad range of products, the layup process is projected to grow at 9.7% CAGR over the forecast period. In the layup process, the resin is applied using hand or spray method onto a suitable mold surface which results in curing of the laminate without requiring any further treatment.
Asia Pacific was the largest market in terms of both value and volume in 2015. Emerging economies including Brazil, China, South Africa and India are expected to lead the composites market owing to the growing demand from various application industries such as automotive, aerospace & defense, wind energy, and transportation. China has emerged as the world’s largest composites producing country globally. The Chinese composites market is projected to reach USD 28.44 billion by 2024.
Agreements & Partnerships along with R&D activities coupled with new product development by key players are expected to expand the market over the forecast period. Furthermore, exceptional features offered by these products especially in carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) owing to new high-value applications and technological innovations during the forecast period. However, high manufacturing & processing cost coupled with recycling issues are expected to restrain market growth over the next eight years.
U.S. composites market revenue by application, 2013 - 2024, (USD Billion)
The consumption of composites in the manufacturing of aircraft has an advantage over the traditional materials used due to high-performance properties. Aerospace & defense industry accounted for 13.1% of the market volume share in 2015. The consumption of composites in this industry has increased drastically in the recent past. Reduction in the weight and high corrosion resistance are some of the key factors that are propelling the growth of the composites market in this application segment.
Wind energy application segment, which is projected as the fastest growing, is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 10.0% over the forecast period, as composites are widely used as clean energy materials in this application sector. Development of infrastructure for public transportation and growth of the automotive industry is expected to fuel the further growth of the market over the forecast period. The market for transportation applications is projected to account for 21.3% of the global market volume by 2024.
Glass fiber composites are widely consumed globally and generating revenues worth USD 41.88 billion in 2015. Owing to its inherent strength, surface texture variety, weather resistant finish and lightweight properties, the glass fiber composites market has been dominating the global composites market over the past few years, and the trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. In light of these properties, glass fiber composites have a huge demand from various industries such as aerospace & defense, transportation, wind energy, automotive and others. Glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) is a composite material produced by reinforcing the fiber with a polymer matrix. GFRP has improved surface quality which helps in reduction of weight up to 60% as compared to traditional materials.
Carbon fiber has witnessed a steady growth in the recent years and is expected to create a growth avenue for the composites market over the forecast period. Carbon fibers market accounted for 33.9% of the global volume in 2015 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2016 to 2024. Market players are emphasizing on the technological advancements and investing heavily in creating advanced technologies.
Asia Pacific was the largest market for composites globally, with a market share exceeding 40%, in terms of both volume and revenue, in 2015. Growing development of application segments such as aerospace & defense, transportation, and wind energy is propelling the growth of the market in this region. Also, rapid urbanization, the presence of key carbon fiber manufacturers in this region are the major factors that are driving growth.
North America composites market was valued at USD 14.50 billion in 2015. The increase in production of light commercial vehicles is expected to stimulate market growth. The market in Germany is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.8% from 2016 to 2024. Innovations to produce lighter cars to reduce fuel emissions, thereby lowering carbon emissions in the atmosphere, is expected to augment growth. Growth in e-commerce is expected to drive the market further for transportation segment in this region.
The global composites market is competitive in nature with the presence of the main market players that are focused on continuous R&D activities and technology innovations. Major players include Owens Corning, Toray Industries Inc., TenCate NV, SGL Carbon, Cytec Industries, Compagnie De Saint-Gobain, and Jushi Group Co. Ltd.
The industry is driven by new product innovations and product launches along with product exhibitions, as market players are competing to expand their customer base over the projected period. For instance, in March 2014, Owens Corning launched nine new customer-inspired composites products at JEC Europe Show held in Paris. This product was designed collectively to serve various application segments such as construction & building, automotive and wind energy.
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