The market size of the hybrid fabric is expected to grow from USD 197 million in 2019 to USD 415 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 16.0% during the forecast period. The major drivers of the market are balanced cost and performance characteristics offered by hybrid fabric.
The hybrid fabric market, by end-use industry, is divided into five segments, namely, automotive & transportation, aerospace & defense, wind energy, sports & recreational, and consumer goods. The market in the wind energy end-use industry is expected to register the highest growth rate, in terms of value and volume, during the forecast period. Wind turbine blades are the key components in the wind power generation system. Hybrid fabric is widely used in the development of large-sized wind turbines. The focus of blade manufacturers has mainly been on reducing the cost and increasing performance of wind blades. This is driving the use of hybrid fabric, as it is less expensive than other special-purpose fibers without compromising on its high-performance property.
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Hybrid fabric is segmented into four types based on the fiber used which includes glass/carbon, carbon/UHMWPE, glass/aramid, and carbon/aramid. Carbon/UHMWPE is projected to be the fastest-growing fiber segment in the hybrid fabric market during the forecast period. UHMWPE fiber is a thermoplastic having an extremely long chain of polyethylene and a molecular weight between 2 to 6 million grams per mole. It is synthesized by attaching the monomers of ethylene. UHMWPE has excellent properties such as impact resistance, lubricity, chemical inertness, and abrasion resistance. The carbon/UHMWPE hybrid fabric is a bit expensive.
The key hybrid fabric manufacturers include Royal DSM N.V. (Netherlands), SGL Group (Germany), Gurit (Switzerland), Hexcel Corporation (US), Exel Composites (Finland), Solvay (Belgium), Textum Inc. (US), BGF Industries, Inc. (US), HACOTECH GmbH (Germany), and Arrow Technical Textiles Pvt. Ltd. (India). These players have adopted various growth strategies, such as expansion and new product development, to expand their presence in the hybrid fabric market further. Expansion and new product development have been the most dominating strategies adopted by major players, from 2016 to 2018, which helped them innovate their offerings and broaden their customer base.
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In line with the rising demand for hybrid fabric, Exel Composites has been working to deliver high-quality hybrid fabric to the automotive and other end-use industries. The company focuses on building long-term strategic partnerships with companies that are leaders in the hybrid fabric market. This strategy has helped Exel Composites develop new solutions and market them faster. In May 2018, the company acquired Diversified Structural Composites (US), which manufactures hybrid composites using a combination of glass and carbon hybrid fabric. The acquisition has helped Exel Composites strengthen its business in North America.
Royal DSM N.V. has secured a strong position in the European market. It is also establishing itself in North America and APAC and is now focusing on the market in Latin America. DSM is a strong player in the hybrid fabric market. It has a strong focus on R&D and has, thus, developed a new thermoset hybrid fabric. In October 2016, the company developed a product named Dyneema Carbon hybrid composites. This development has helped the company maintain its market position and provide innovative products to its customers.
GRM Systems Ltd is involved in the production and sales of composite materials. GRM Systems gives a wide variety of hybrid fabric products covering almost all the types of hybrid fabric combinations. The hybrid fabrics offered by the company are the combination of carbon, aramid, Dyneema, black Vectran, and polyethylene. The hybrid fabrics of the company are used by the sports, marine, and automobiles industries.
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