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The growing demand from the automotive industry for lightweight vehicles is driving the demand for carbon fiber. Carbon fiber or graphite fiber has high stiffness, high tensile strength, and high temperature endurance. In the automotive industry, graphite fiber is used to increase the durability and long life of the automobile’s body parts.
As per a report by Fortune Business Insights™, the market for carbon fiber reached USD 3.07 billion in 2022 and is set to reach USD 5.96 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 8.8% over the forecast period. Top carbon fiber manufacturers have been adopting various new strategies such as acquisition, new product launches, and partnerships to gain a competitive edge.
TORAY INDUSTRIES is a global manufacturer, supplier, and processor of fibers & textiles, performance chemicals, plastics, composite materials, environment solutions, and healthcare products. The company is set to spread its operations in total of 29 countries of North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East & Africa. In November 2021, Zoltek Companies, Inc., a subsidiary of Toray Industries, Inc., expanded its production capacity in the year 2023 with more than 40,000 filaments’ production capacity. The cost will be around USD 130 million.
With 20 research & development centers exploring the improvement of products with 264 brands, Solvay is a science and technology company, which deals in materials, chemicals, and solutions to bring technological advancements and solve critical industrial, social, and environmental challenges faced in many fields, including aviation, automotive, electronics, healthcare, water treatment, and air management. In December 2022, Solvay collaborated with Trillium for bio-based acrylonitrile for carbon fiber applications such as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and energy.
Nippon Graphite Fiber Co., Ltd. offers its products in satellite, sport, industry, construction and thermal management. It is a manufacturer of carbon fiber and has the production capacity of 180 tons per year. NIPPON STEEL Chemical & Material Corporation and ENEOS Techno Material Corporation are the major stock holders of the company.
Started and founded in 1981, TEIJIN LIMITED manufactures and sells carbon fiber products, aramid fiber, synthetic fiber, polyester films, films, resin products, chemical products, pharmaceuticals, IT products, medical devices, and water purification systems. The company offers medicines for treating respiratory, bone and joint, metabolic, cardiovascular, and other diseases. The company operates in more than 20 countries. In 2021, the company generated revenue of USD 8,427.1 million.
Hexcel Corporation manufactures resin and carbon fiber reinforcements. The company has a total of 23 manufacturing plants and operates in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The company caters and offers its services to Bell, CTRM Aero Composites Burlington, General Electric, GKN, Lockheed Martin Pottsville, Sikorsky, and Raytheon Technologies.
Headquartered in U.S., ZOLTEK Corporation is a producer and supplier of graphite fiber. The company serves its products in markets such as automotive, aerospace, wind energy, marine, 3D printing, thermoplastic compounding, oil & gas, sporting goods, pressure vessel, and civil engineering. The company serves in regions such as North America and Europe. The company’s main motive is carbon fiber commercialization as a primary composite building material. In June 2021, the company expanded its capacity of graphite fiber manufacturing in Guadalajara, Mexico. This expansion will help the company to be the global leader in industrial-grade graphite fiber.
With its production in total of 10 countries and 5 continents, Hyosung Advanced Materials, or simply Hyosung Advanced, is located in South Korea. The company serves its products in civil engineering, automotive, agriculture, architecture, and military logistics sectors. Hyosung Advanced is the manufacturer of Dongyang nylon and Dongyang polyester. In May 2021, the company expanded its production capacity of Jeonju carbon fiber plant to meet the rising demand for graphite fiber adopted in fuel tanks of hydrogen cars. An investment of USD 65.88 million expanded the production capacity by 6,500 tons.
Advanced Composites Inc. is the producer of aerospace composite structures, defense, fiberglass structures, and commercial carbon with wide solutions ranging from prototyping equipment to machine tooling to fabrication machinery. It has used filament winding, compression molding, layup manufacturing, and reaction injection molding processes to manufacture the products for high demanding applications.
MCCFC abbreviated for Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. is a manufacturer and supplier of graphite fiber and composite materials. It engages in various strategies to expand its businesses throughout North America by using technology advancements, capacity expansion, and acquisitions. Grafil, a prepreg producer, is one of the core companies of MCCFC with wide presence in the U.S.
Formosa M Co., Ltd. is a producer and supplier of MLCC release film, carbon fiber, NAN YA materials, and smart power battery system. The company offers various grades ranging from standard to high modulus (33 Msi-55Msi), high strength, and small to large tow fiber (1.5K-48K). The business of the company includes fireproof & fire blanket, fire-retardant wallcovering, insulation paints, Formosa LFPO Smart Power Battery, and fire extinguisher. The company aims to diversify its business, which focuses on high value-added product development.
New Projects are Paving Pathways for Product Enhancements
Industry players and researchers implementing projects for new products could increase the coal tar pitch values to 55 times. In December 2020, University of Kentucky Centre for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) partnered for projects worth USD 10 million to convert coal into CFs and composite. The role of ORNL will be essential for correlation of coal’s molecular structure and CAER will convert various coal feedstock into composites and CF.