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The global aramid fiber market size was USD 4,522.6 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 7,243.3 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period.
Aramid fibers are man-made fibers in which relatively rigid polymer chains characterize molecules. The molecules are linked by strong hydrogen bonds, which transfer mechanical strength efficiently, with low molecular weight. These fibers have high strength, excellent abrasion resistance, good resistance to organic solvents, non-conductivity, no melting points, low flammability, and good fabric integrity at elevated temperatures.
The market has been classified based on type and application. Meta-aramid has witnessed huge demand due to the presence of different properties such as flame resistance, electrical insulation, chemical stability, radiation resistance, and others. A few of the significant applications of these fibers are security & protection, frictional materials, rubber reinforcement, optical fiber, tire reinforcement, electrical insulation, aerospace, and others.
The security & protection segment holds the largest aramid fiber market share in the global market as a large quantity of this fiber is used in protective apparel, air filtration, and thermal and electrical insulation. Also, the advent of 5G technology is expected to boost the demand for these fibers in 5G cables. For instance, In September 2020, South Korea’s Kolon and Hyosung reported a surge in demand for these fibers as President Moon Jae-in pushed for the adoption of a 5G network in the country.
The slowdown in Activities of End-use Industries triggered by COVID-19 to Limit Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the day to day operations of almost all major industries across the world that has further brought economies to a standstill. This has led to a decrease in the demand for aramid fibers in most of the applications. On the other hand, the adoption of these fibers in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) clothing has increased rapidly. The manufacturers are also focusing on fulfilling the orders for PPE first as they are the need of an hour. Multiple fibers and polymeric material options are being put on the table for the consumers depending upon the applications and cost.
For instance, DuPont is manufacturing PPE clothing based on its Nomex aramid, Kevlar & Tychem (reusable cloths), and Tyvek (single-use product). The demand for a single-use product is very high as compared to other materials. Also, the cost factor plays an important role. Moreover, the demand for these fibers in other applications is weak, which is likely to lower the consumption in 2020.
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Applications of Aramid Fibers in Personal Protective Clothing is a Key Trend
Aramid fibers have been used in protective clothing for protection against fire, arc flash, heat, and others. Even in the hard times of COVID-19, clothing products manufactured with this fiber are being used by medical professionals to combat contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the necessary procedures required to remove contamination.
The benefits of such clothing are that they can be washed and reused again, unlike other personal protective clothing. Moreover, in accordance with these benefits, clothing manufacturers have released a laundering guide for such clothing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Growing Demand from Safety & Protection Industry to Drive Market Growth
A huge amount of aramid fiber is used in safety & protection applications such as military, private security, municipal law enforcement, and private contractors involved in government projects. The regulations regarding the health and safety of employees are very stringent in North America and European countries, and thus driving the market. Also, not only military personnel are getting safer by using this fiber, but also the demand for protective clothing is increasing due to the demand from industrial organizations.
These fibers are used to make stab-proof, fire-proof, and cut-proof protective clothing such as coveralls, gloves, footwear, and helmets. Recent technological advancements in armors helped to reduce the extra weight for soldiers, and also further improvisation in personal protective clothing is driving the demand for soft and lightweight armor material and consecutively aramid fibers in the near future.
High Cost of Synthetic Fibers to Limit Market Growth
Though the aramid fibers are immensely popular in the industry for their rugged applications, they have some demerits too. For example, the tendency to absorb moisture discourages their usage in a wet atmosphere. To overcome such issues, these products are often coupled with epoxy systems. Such additives further increase the overall cost of the product. Moreover, these fibers are prone to corrosion and degrade in UV light. Thus, special coatings are required to avoid such damages to the fiber. As a result, many consumers prefer other economically viable polymeric fibers.
Para-Aramid Segment is Expected to Emerge Dominant
The para-aramid segment holds the largest share in the market, driven by increasing use in applications such as military and aerospace & defense in making bulletproof body armors. This fiber offers high strength to weight ratio and better insulation properties, which makes it suitable for helmets, bulletproof jackets, and vehicle armor.
The meta-aramid segment is expected to witness considerable growth in the forecasted period due to increasing penetration of honeycomb panel-based composites structure in the automotive and aerospace & defense industry. Increasing demand for thermal protective apparel is also boosting the demand for this fiber.
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Security & Protection Segment is Anticipated to Exhibit a Significant CAGR
Extensive use in safety & protection applications due to the unique set of properties, which makes these fibers thick when exposed to excessive heat such as flashover. Thus the segment holds the largest share in the market. Also, this fiber increases the protective barrier between the heat source and skin when firefighters need it most; this tough barrier stays supple and flexible until it's cool and provides extra minutes of protection without impairing mobility.
The demand for these fibers as frictional material is increasing owing to its properties such as thermal stability, excellent wear properties, and stable coefficient of friction. This fiber is most effective in improving the resistance and is preferred over other fibers such as glass, cellulose, and carbon. The surface tends to damage less when these type of fibers are adopted, and therefore, they are extensively used in the manufacturing of brake pads and machines.
The other applications for this fiber include rubber reinforcement, optical fiber, tire reinforcement, electrical insulation, aerospace, and others. Optical fiber is set to become a new standard for four-wire internet, as most of the U.S. is already offering optics and also is available around the world. Thus, there is massive room for growth in many countries, as these fibers are used to manufacture fiber optic cables.
Europe Aramid Fiber Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)
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Europe is anticipated to emerge dominant in the market during the forecast period owing to the rising product demand in countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The growing need for efficient fuel and other advances in the electronics and automotive industry are the key factors driving the market in the region.
North America holds a significant share in the global aramid fiber market due to increasing warfare and mounting security. Additionally, a rise in tension between the countries near the U.S. has further led to an increase in demand for ballistic protection armor for both the vehicles and troops such as headgear, armored cars, bulletproof vests, and ballistic missiles.
The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing region in the market during the forecast period owing to the presence of major aramid fiber production countries such as China and Japan. Favorable initiatives taken by the government of China and India for industrial sector safety and precaution will have a positive impact on the growth of the market.
Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are anticipated to showcase lower growth in the market compared to the other regions due to the presence of a fewer number of manufacturing units, and reduced demand due to the low population in these regions.
Market Players such as DuPont Inc. and Teijin Limited Are Expected to Offer New Aramid Fiber Solutions to Strengthen Their Market Positions
The market is consolidated as top players such as Dupont Inc., Kolon Industries Inc., and Teijin Limited account for more than 50% of the market share. The producers in North America and Europe are focusing on increasing their presence in various countries in Asia Pacific to strengthen their position in the market and to drive the business growth of the organization. The key players in the market have, therefore, developed strong regional presence, distribution channels, and product offerings.
An Infographic Representation of Aramid Fiber Market
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The report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights into the global aramid fiber industry. Quantitative insights include the global market sizing in terms of value (USD Million) and volume (Kilo Tons) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, the report covers market share analysis and growth rates of the segment, sub-segments, and key counties across each region. Qualitative insight covers an elaborative analysis of market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, key trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers detailed company profiling of the key players operating in the global market.
Value (USD Million) and Volume (Kilo Tons)
Product type, Application, and Geography
By Product Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was 4,522.6 million in 2019, and it is projected to reach USD 7,243.3 million by 2027.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period (2020-2027).
The security & protection segment is expected to be the leading segment for the market during the forecast period.
The increasing demand from the security & protection industry is driving the market growth.
Europe is expected to hold the highest market share in the market.
The rising demand for optical fiber is the current trend.
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