The global composites market size is projected to grow from USD 74.0 billion in 2020 to USD 112.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 8.8%. The composites industry is growing due to the rise in demand for high performance materials, globally. The demand for composites is expected to decline in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, the end of lockdown and recovery in the end-use industries will stimulate the demand during the forecast period.
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The aerospace industry is a major consumer of composites. Growing environmental concerns and search for high strength light-weighting material to increase fuel efficiency have put composites in the limelight in the aerospace & defense industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the global aerospace and defense industry into an unprecedented crisis. The biggest commercial aircraft manufacturers had to suspend their operations temporarily due to COVID-19. This has affected the entire supply chain, including composites manufacturers.
The industry commits to comply with stringent regulations such as the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards and the European Emission Standards (EES) by the US and European governments. To reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which have an adverse effect on the global climate, the automakers in these regions are focusing on the production of lightweight vehicles with composites to comply with the government regulations and enhance the fuel efficiency of vehicles.
Glass fiber composites comprise a major share of the composites market in terms of value and volume.
The glass fiber composites have superior attributes, such as strength, flexibility, durability, stability, lightweight, and resistance to heat, temperature, and moisture. Owing to its properties, glass fiber is used in different end-use industry segments, such as construction, wind, pipe & tanks, marine, and transportation.
There is a high demand for glass fiber composites from the wind energy and construction & infrastructure industries. However, the demand for composites is expected to decline due to COVID-19 that has enforced lockdown across national and international borders. This has resulted in reduced wind capacity installations and the temporary suspension of operations in the automotive, aerospace, and construction industries. The recovery in the end-use industries would restore the demand for glass fiber composites during the forecast period.
The thermoset composites accounted for the largest market share in the global composites market
In thermoset composites, thermoset resin is used as a matrix with fibers, including glass fiber, carbon fiber, natural fiber, and others. Currently, thermoset resins are widely used for manufacturing composites, as when uncured, they are in a liquid state at room temperatures. This unique property of thermoset resin allows for the convenient impregnation of reinforcing fiber. But, because of the lockdown situation occurred due to COVID-19, many floor workers are unable to work in manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the reduction in output of several resins, such as epoxy resins. Thus, the demand for thermoset resins is expected to decline during the forecast period.
APAC is expected to account for the largest market share in the composites market
APAC is the largest market for composites. The major international players are exploring opportunities in the region owing to cheap labor, raw materials, and high demand from various end-use industries, such as pipes & tanks, wind energy, and construction & infrastructure. Also, the large market share in the region for composites is due to growth is due to the increase in opportunities in the transportation industry that exist in structural applications. However, COVID-19 has affected the major countries of APAC, such as China, Japan, South Korea, India, among others. COVID-19 has slowed down the economy of the region resulting in a reduction in wind energy installations, construction activities, automobile, and aircraft production. This, in turn, has resulted in a decrease in demand for composites in the region.
The key players in the market include Owens Corning (US), Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan), Teijin Limited (Japan), Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (Japan), Hexcel Corporation (US), SGL Group (Germany), Nippon Electrical Glass Co. Ltd. (Japan), Gurit (Switzerland), Huntsman International LLC. (US), and Solvay (Belgium), among many others. These companies are involved in adopting various inorganic and organic strategies to increase their foothold in the composites market. These players have taken different organic and inorganic developmental strategies over the past five years.
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