The carbon fiber market size is estimated to be USD 3.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 8.9 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period. The carbon fiber market is growing due to its increasing demand from the aerospace & defense, automotive, and wind energy industries. Boeing and Airbus have increased the production of commercial aircraft to cater to the rising airline passenger traffic. The increasing use of carbon fiber in electric cars and rising aircraft production are the major drivers for the market.
The carbon fiber market is dominated by virgin carbon fiber. Being the original fiber, it has better mechanical properties compared to recycled carbon fiber which is driving its use in almost all the applications. Recycled carbon fiber is expected to grow at a faster pace compared to virgin carbon fiber during the forecast. This is due to the low price, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions into the environment while manufacturing recycled carbon fiber.
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The carbon fiber market is divided into application segments, which include composite and non-composite. Carbon fiber composites are used in various industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, wind energy, sporting goods, pipe & tank, civil engineering, and marine. They offer high strength, rigidity, and high tensile strength. In the composite applications, carbon fiber is mainly used in the form of prepreg, moulding compound, and woven fabric. Prepreg is the largest consumer of carbon fiber in the composite application segment.
Continuous carbon fiber offers higher tensile strength when compared to other types of carbon fiber products. These fibers can be used in layup, weaving, prepregging, filament winding, braiding, and pultrusion processes for manufacturing composites parts for various end-use industries such aerospace & defense, automotive, and wind energy. Continuous carbon fiber is also used in 3D printing applications as it offers stiffness and strength. Superior properties and large number of applications are driving the continuous carbon fiber segment of the market.
Europe is estimated to have the largest share of the market. Europe led the carbon fiber market due to the presence of established automotive, aerospace & defense, and wind energy industries in the region. The region is home to some of the prominent automotive manufacturers such as BMW, Fiat, and Bentley. These automotive manufacturers use carbon fiber composites in various structural automotive parts such as bonnets, bumpers, and frontends. Additionally, aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing use carbon fiber composites in structural parts as they offer rigidity and high tensile strength. Moreover, there are many offshore wind energy installations.
Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), SGL Group (Germany), Hexcel Corporation (US), Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (Japan), Teijin Limited (Japan), Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan), Solvay (Belgium), Jiangsu Hengshen Co. Ltd. (China), Hyosung (South Korea), and DowAksa (Turkey) were some of the key players in the global carbon fiber market. These players have adopted various organic and inorganic developmental strategies over the past five years.
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