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The global composites market size was USD 99.91 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 112.0 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.88% during the forecast period. The properties associated with composite materials such as corrosion resistance, high strength-to-weight ratio, and long lifespan make them highly suitable for infrastructure projects. These products are used in roads, water/drainage systems, bridges, and seawalls to build resilient structures. Moreover, the aging infrastructure is a potentially massive market. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association report 2019, more than 600,000 bridges in the U.S. are in a poor condition and need urgent repairs. Additionally, scientific advancements in these materials are gaining momentum due to rapid industrialization and technological developments.
Deflated Demand in the Automotive & Aerospace Industries amid Covid-19 to Hamper Market Growth
The global market is expected to witness marginally lower growth than expected in 2020 owing to the low demand from the automotive as well as from the aerospace industry and the lack of availability of raw materials. The volatility in crude oil prices has negatively affected the prices of feedstock. The demand for consumer goods application of these materials is expected to remain strong in spite of the pandemic due to healthy demand.
The building & construction and automotive industries are some of the worst-hit sectors due to the pandemic and slow recovery is expected in these sectors because of other macroeconomic factors such as job losses and debt crisis. This slow recovery is anticipated to hamper the composites market growth in the long run. Moreover, the changing political landscape and rising trade conflicts between prominent nations such as the US and China are likely to suppress market growth over the forecast period.
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Increasing Demand from the Aerospace Industry to Shape New Opportunities
The usage of composites in the aerospace industry has evolved and widened over the past few years. Aircraft manufacturers are taking steps to enlarge primary structures in thermoplastic, both for business jets as well as commercial aircraft. The manufacturers of airplanes were the early adopters of the long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics technology. Today, the most typical thermoplastic composition in the industry is PEEK (polyetheretherketone) or PEI (polyetherimide) with carbon. These materials have two distinct characteristics that make them attractive for aerospace applications are that they can be molten and then reshaped repeatedly. Thermoplastics also provide a high level of toughness, which translates into lower-weight structures with improved damage tolerance. For example, in February 2020, Marshall Advanced Composites won a £9.5 million contract from Lockheed Martin to manufacture cockpit trim panels (Nomex honeycomb core) for its C-130J Super Hercules airlifted for the next five years.
Sustainable Usage of Composite for Boatbuilding and Marine Structures to Emerge as a Significant Trend
In 2019, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Chicago, Illinois, U.S. reported that the sales of new powerboats increased by 4% in 2018, as compared to 2017. The trends for larger production of boats powered by outboard engines as well as the increasing use of carbon fiber, epoxy resin, and 3D printing continue to drive the demand for these materials. Moreover, the increase in the size and number of outboards per boat is driving the need for reduced weight in hulls and decks, without sacrificing performance.
Another trend is the increasing use of 3D printing in the marine industry, which is augmenting the demand for carbon composites in this industry and the move towards 3D-printed molds is continuing to gain momentum. For instance, in October 2020, Moi Composites unveiled MAMBO (Motor Additive Manufacturing BOat) 3D-printed boat made with continuous fiberglass thermoset material.
Exceptional Performance of Composites to Drive the Market
Composite materials are utilized to serve the needs of customers with a variety of highly-complex engineered parts, design patterns, and structures. The industry serves several industry verticals such as automotive, aerospace, marine, consumer goods, wind power, and others. These industries consume these materials in a variety of ways. This usage is driven by the part performance requirements, regulations, consumer demand, and cost thresholds. For instance, the materials, costs, and process technologies in the aerospace industry are substantially different than those in the automotive industry. These materials can meet this diverse demand as they are very diverse themselves. For example, resins, an array of fiber, tooling, process, and finishing options are available and can make any fabrication of nearly any part for any application.
Continuous Efforts from the Automotive Industry for Lightweight Vehicles to Drive the Market
The automotive industry is driven by fuel economy and emission regulations and is thus continuously developing composites for lightweight materials. For instance, currently, in the US, the corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards mandate a fleet average of 23.2 km/Liter by 2025. In China, the Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) also sets a fleet target of 20 km/Liter. European emission regulations mandate an emission of 95g/km of CO2 by 2021, with another reduction of 15% by 2025.
In the automotive industry, more than 100 models currently specify carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic for OEM components. Moreover, the growing trend of the use of thermoplastics in automobiles is also driving the market. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are using these materials in the manufacturing process of vehicles to reduce vehicle weight, reduce vehicle emissions, and improve fuel efficiency & economy.
Issues Related to Recycling to Restrict Market Growth
Strict environmental policies and legislations and the increased restrictions and costs for the disposal of landfills are some of the market forces restricting the market. Moreover, the increasing use of life cycle assessment as part of the material selection process in many sectors is also putting composite end-of-life waste management under intense scrutiny. For example, it is estimated that 90% of U.K. waste currently goes into landfills, and thus the industry has to tackle significant societal and industrial challenges. Moreover, increasing plastic waste has compelled lawmakers around the world to implement stringent environmental norms. Ban on single-use plastic in various countries has highlighted the steps taken by governments to tackle the concerns arising from plastic waste.
Polymer Matrix to Dominate the Market
Based on the matrix, the market is classified into a polymer matrix (PMC), ceramic matrix (CMC), and metal matrix (MMC). Polymer matrix holds the largest share in the global market. This matrix has high mechanical strength, high stiffness, high resistance to wear and corrosion, low density, and high fatigue resistance. These properties make polymer matrix the most commonly-used materials, and hence most developments and expansions in many companies are with respect to the polymer matrix. For instance, in July 2019, Kordsa, a global player in the reinforcement technologies market and a subsidiary of Sabancı Holding, acquired Axiom Materials, a manufacturer based in the U.S., to strengthen its capacity to develop new products.
The ceramic segment is expected to reach and witness sound growth over the forecast, whereas the metal matrix segment is likely to witness relatively slower growth due to weight constraints.
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Automotive Industry Accounted for the Major Market Share
By application, the market segments include automotive & transportation, building & construction industrial, electrical & electronics goods, pipes & tank manufacturing, consumer goods, wind energy/power, maritime, defense & aviation, and others. The automotive & transportation industry is anticipated to account for the largest market share during the forecast period as these materials are widely used in this industry to reduce the weight of vehicles. For instance, BMW opted to use composites for their life models, such as the BMW M3, BMW M4, BMW i8, and BMW i3, for weight-saving, emission-reduction, part-consolidation, strength and safety gains, and improved efficiency.
Asia Pacific Composites Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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The findings based on our research methodology indicate that Asia Pacific will hold the largest revenue share in the global market during the forecast period. The increasing demand in major industries such as automotive & transportation, aerospace and defense, building & construction, and electrical & electronics is expected to create a humongous opportunity for players in this market. Moreover, the rapid development of cities and the existence of many manufacturers such as Toray Industries Inc. and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation is expected to boost the regional market positively.
North America is expected to be the second dominant region in the market share due to the rising demand from the defense & aerospace industry. The use in aerospace has gained momentum in the past few decades, with more than 50% of the latest Airbus aircraft under the A350XWB lineup are made up of these materials as compared to the older fleet, which only used 2–5% aerospace composites.
Europe is expected to make substantial gains during the forecast timeframe. Rising spending on electrical vehicles supported by environmental norms has mainly led to the increasing adoption of lightweight materials in the automotive manufacturing industry in this region. The regional automotive industry is expected to bounce back after 2020, with growing collaborations and government policies regarding smart- and energy-efficient vehicles.
Toray Industries to Increase Production Capacity of Its Subsidiary Zoltek Companies
In April 2018, Toray Industries, Inc. decided to increase the production capacity of its subsidiary Zoltek Companies, Inc. headquartered in the U.S. With this expansion the production capacity will be 15,000 tons, increasing by 50%. Moreover, the investment involved in the expansion is approximately USD 130 million, and the production is expected to start in early 2020. Moreover, the key players are focused on grabbing long-term supply contracts with the end-users to ensure the growth of their businesses. For example, in January 2019, Teijin Limited was awarded an extension contract to supply carbon fiber to Bombardier for the AIRBUS A220 till 2025.
An Infographic Representation of Composites Market
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The composites market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights and a detailed analysis of the size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption trends by individual segments, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.
Value (USD Billion/USD Million) and Volume (Million ton/Kiloton)
Matrix, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the composites market size stood at USD 99.91 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 112.0 billion by 2027.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 6.88% in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The polymer matrix segment is expected to be the leading segment for the market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for these materials from the electronics industry is driving market growth.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest share in the market.
Growing aerospace applications is the top trend driving this market.
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