According to a report published by Grand View Research, Inc.; the global composites market is anticipated to attain a valuation of around USD 130.83 billion by 2024. Growing requirement for lightweight vehicles to enhance fuel-efficiency is anticipated to market growth over the forecast period (2018 to 2024). Composites can replace steel in vehicles attributed to their higher strength to weight ratio.
Currently, most vehicles use conventional fuel technologies such as petrol and diesel. However, growing environmental concerns and stringent regulations regarding pollution control can force manufacturers to manufacture eco-friendly vehicles. Composites can be used to manufacture lightweight vehicles. These vehicles offer high fuel-efficiency, which is a primary factor augmenting product demand.
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The worldwide composites market can be segregated on the basis of product, resin, manufacturing process, end-use, and region. Based on product, the market can be categorized into glass fiber, carbon fiber, and others. In 2015, glass fiber emerged as the largest product segment. Also known as fiberglass, this composite is made of fine fibers of glass. Fiberglass is lightweight, robust, and strong material. This factor is expected to bode well for segment growth over the forecast period. However, it is likely to have lower stiffness than carbon fiber.
Based on resin, the market can be bifurcated into thermoplastic and thermosetting. In 2015, thermosetting resin dominated market and accounted for largest market share of around 83.3%. Thermoset or thermosetting composites are synthetic materials strengthened when heated. They cannot be remolded after initial heating. Thermosetting products are stronger attributed to cross linking and can suit for high temperature. This is the primary demand driver for these resins.
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Based on manufacturing process, the market for composites can be classified into injection molding, compression molding, pultrusion, resin transfer molding, layup, filament winding, and others. In 2015, layup dominated the market and accounted for around 30.9% of the total market share. The layup process involves placement of fiber layer in sequence by using matrix of hardener and resin. It is then allowed to set at room temperature. The curing process can be accelerated by applying heat with oven. Hand layup process is low cost cooling technique and includes wide choice of material types and suppliers.
Based on end-use, the market can be divided into electrical and electronics, aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, construction and infrastructure, pipes and tanks, marine, and others. In 2015, transportation dominated the market and accounted for the largest share of 20.8% in terms of demand. Advantages of lightweight and durable materials are appreciated in design, fuel savings, and manufacturing efficiencies for autos, buses, and trains, across the transportation spectrum. Manufacturers of buses and light rails use composites to enhance fuel efficiency and interiors of vehicles. Demand for fire retardant, corrosion resistant, and durable products from top suppliers to fulfill demand for adhesives, resins, reinforcements, and gels in transportation applications wil bode well for segment growth in near future.
Regional segmentation includes Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific dominated the market and accounted for largest market share in 2015. It is likely to continue its dominance over the forecast period owing to rising production of boats, architectural moldings, and wind turbine blades in the region.
North America is predicted to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Rising demand for commercial aviation on account of globalization and rising disposable income is expected to spur growth of aviation sector in the region. In addition, growing concerns regarding aircraft weight can further fuel demand for composites. Commercial aviation is expected to use composites to around 50% of total weight of aircraft. Airbus A350 can be built using 52% Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), while Boeing 787 Dreamliner can be built using 50% CFRP in terms of weight.
Europe is likely to witness steady growth during the forecast period owing to extensive R&D activities and emergence of numerous market players. Some of the leading companies operating in the composites market are Mitsubishi Rayon Corporation, Cytec Industries, Hexcel, Toray industries, and Hyosung.
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