The global glass fiber and GFRP composites market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Numerous fine glass filaments together form a material called glass fiber, its types being: insulated and composite. Its base material is silica which along with other variable materials is manufactured by melting, formation, continuous filament, or staple fiber process. Glass fiber uses involve: providing insulation, heat, and corrosion resistance and reinforcing various materials. When this glass fiber is used in reinforced polymer, it results in a new material called glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) or fiberglass as it is commonly known and can be segmented on the raw material used: glass fiber, resins (thermoplastic or thermoset) or fillers.
Fiberglass provides the necessary strength compared to metals, without the weight and expenses and is easily moldable and less brittle. Fiberglass hand lay-up, fiberglass spray lay-up, pultrusion, and chopped strand mat are construction methods of different fiberglass products. The use of fiberglass in different products varies from basic (pipes, tanks electrical, etc.) to highly specialized sectors including automotive, wind energy, defense, aerospace, transportation, marine, electronics, consumer goods, and construction is the largest market. Variety in texture, weather-resistant, strength, and lightweight attributes of fiberglass have contributed to its growing demand in the mentioned sectors. There has also been a shift in focus of firms, exploring new avenues for fiberglass usage. Apart from infrastructure, the need for clean energy and emerging economies present new opportunities to the market. Expansion in recent years in the market has also created a demand-supply gap that needs to be filled using alternatives. Innovative manufacturing processes and new product development are preferred to penetrate into saturated markets and expand into new ones.
Asia Pacific dominates the global glass fiber and GFRP composites market along with North America with the USA being the largest producer as well as consumer of fiberglass. Germany in Europe is the largest producer, followed by the UK, Spain, Italy, and France. China is the largest producer & supplier among the emerging economies, also being a top fiberglass product consumer. Emerging countries of Brazil and India have also been showing growth prospects with an increase in demand. Construction sectors will drive the glass fiber and glass fiber reinforced plastic composites market in the Middle East and Africa regions. Research and development activities for the production of high quality and performance products are led by European nations and the USA. The market leader in this segment is Owens Corning especially after the acquisition of St. Gobain. Another strong player in China Fiberglass at the second position and PPG Industries following it with third-largest market share.
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden pause to manufacturing activities across the globe, affecting the demand for plastics and also production & processing of them. The most critically impacted end-use segments of the plastics industry include automotive & transportation, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction, and electronics. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.