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Carbon Fiber Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Precursor (PAN and Pitch), By Tow (Large Tow and Small Tow), By Application (Aviation, Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Wind Turbines, Sports & Leisure, Construction, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101719

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global carbon fiber market size was valued at USD 3.31 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 3.59 billion in 2024 to USD 7.05 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period.


Carbon fiber is made of carbon atoms with a diameter ranging from five to ten micrometers. It is also known as graphite fiber. These fibers have high stiffness, high strength-to-weight ratio, low thermal expansion, high tensile strength, high-temperature tolerance, and higher chemical resistance. These properties of the carbon-based fibers made them a product of choice in aerospace, automotive, defense, construction, wind turbines, and sports applications. Growing automotive demand and increasing need for lightweight vehicles will drive the carbon fiber market growth. The need for fuel-efficient vehicles and strict government regulations regarding carbon emissions are key factors affecting the industry outlook.


The coronavirus outbreak has halted most composites businesses due to the nationwide lockdown and a partial shutdown of factories, negatively affecting the product growth. During the COVID-19 pandemic, automobile manufacturers globally faced severe impacts. For example, GM, Ford, and FCA suspended their manufacturing parts business in the U.S. and repurposed for producing COVID–19 medical devices. However, the gradual opening of economies in 2021 has increased demand for the product for different applications.


Carbon Fiber Market Trends


Research Focusing on Product Manufacturing from Non-Conventional Raw Materials to Create Lucrative Growth Opportunities  


Industry partners and researchers are implementing projects to convert coal tar, a by-product, from coke production for the steel industry into carbon fiber and composites. This new product could increase the coal tar pitch value by five to 55 times its current value and find applications in low-weight and high-stiffness composites.


In December 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) entered into a strategic partnership for around USD 10 million projects, which mainly convert coal into CFs and composite. Mainly, the research will report major challenges related to various coal feedstock, coal processing, and CF manufacturing. CAERs will focus on converting various coal feedstock into CF and composites. ORNL’s role will be to correlate the coal’s molecular structure. Such developments will accelerate the production of low-cost carbon fiber, propelling the growth of the market.


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Carbon Fiber Market Growth Factors


Increasing Product Usage in Automotive Industry to Drive Market Growth


Carbon fiber is a very lightweight and strong material, having a low weight-to-strength ratio. It is five times stronger than steel and twice as stiff as steel. It has superior chemical resistance to steel. These properties of the product have led to an increase in its use in the automotive industry to manufacture lightweight and highly durable vehicles.


Graphite fiber increases the automobile's durability and ensures the long life cycle of the body parts. The collective demand for manufacturing automobile body parts, such as hoods, roofs, doors, deck lids, bumper beams, favors product consumption. The rising consumption of graphite fiber composites in motorsport cars and luxury vehicles is driving the market growth.


Carbon fiber is an advanced material considered an ideal solution that meets the requirements of automotive manufacturers. Companies are investing in R&D and adopting strategies to innovate new methods that would reduce the vehicle's overall weight by using these fibers. The material has a density as low as 1.6g/cc, making it the ideal material for making extremely lightweight body parts for automobiles. A lightweight vehicle provides better fuel efficiency and 10% weight reduction, saving 6% to 8% in fuel. This has resulted in the wide use of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) in various vehicles ranging from mopeds to high-end supercars.


The rising global automotive industry and the surge in the need for lightweight vehicles are fueling market growth. The rise in disposable income and growing young population is creating demand for individual vehicles, especially electric vehicles, which has led to several manufacturers increasing automobile production. For instance, according to IEA (International Energy Agency), sales of electric cars doubled to 6.6 million in 2021, which is anticipated to increase further soon.


Car companies, such as Audi, BMW, Honda, Polestar, and General Motors, are focusing on collaboration with major carbon composite material manufacturers for large-scale production and investment in processes to support low-cost composite materials. For instance, in May 2019, General Motors collaborated with Teijin, a Japanese information technology, chemical, and pharmaceutical company, to use CFRTP in high-production vehicles, where the material is used for mass production. Further, increasing industrialization and disposable income in developing economies, such as China, India, and Brazil, is anticipated to drive the growth of the automotive industry significantly. 


Increasing Product Demand from Aviation and Aerospace & Defense Industries to Propel Market Growth


The increasing demand for carbon fiber in aviation and aerospace & defense industries is propelled by its unique properties that offer high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance, and durability. In the aviation industry, the lightweight nature of the product offers enhanced fuel efficiency, leading to lower operational costs and reduced emissions. In aerospace, it is utilized in structural components  to improve performance and safety. The defense sector relies on carbon-based fibers for lightweight armor, ballistic protection, and advanced weaponry, thereby enhancing mobility and survivability. Additionally, ongoing technological advancements are expanding the applications of carbon-based fiber in these industries, further driving the market growth. As these sectors prioritize efficiency, performance, and sustainability, the versatility offered by the product is going to make it a crucial material for future innovations in the aviation and aerospace & defense industries.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


High Cost of the Product to Hinder Market Growth


Carbon composites are widely used in the aerospace, automotive, construction, oil & gas, and wind energy industries, owing to their high performance and lightweight properties. The manufacturing process of carbon fiber is expensive, increasing the overall price of the product.


The cost of the product is a major restraining factor, prohibiting the widespread usage of carbon composites in various industries. The cost of CF is directly related to the yield and cost of the precursor from which it is obtained. Currently, the PAN-based carbon fibers and their average cost of non-aerospace grade are around US$ 21.5 per kg, with a conversion efficiency of only 50%. These high prices make it difficult for domestic and small-scale manufacturers to enter the market, thus limiting market growth.


Moreover, the release of harmful and hazardous gases into the environment during the manufacturing of graphite fiber has resulted in the implementation of stringent regulations over its manufacturing in several developed and developing countries such as China, India, U.S., Japan, and Brazil. Governments worldwide are further tightening these regulations, affecting the demand for the product and restraining market growth.


Carbon Fiber Market Segmentation Analysis


By Precursor Analysis


PAN Segment to Hold Largest Market Share Due to High Demand from End-use Industries 


Depending on precursor, the market is segmented into PAN (polyacrylonitrile) and pitch. The PAN segment held a considerable share of the market in 2023 and is anticipated to dominate the market in the near future, owing to increasing demand from end-use industries. The higher demand for the PAN-based graphite fiber is attributed to its properties, including cost-effectiveness, high modulus, high tensile strength, and better quality of fiber produced. Increasing demand for product for aerospace & defense, automotive, and sporting goods applications is anticipated to further increase the segment’s share.


The pitch-based segment may show a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Properties such as low electrical resistivity, low negative coefficient, high thermal conductivity, and high modulus make it suitable for the aerospace and sports industries.


By Tow Analysis


Small Tow Segment to Dominate Market owing to Increasing Adoption in Aerospace & Defense Industry


The market is segmented into small tow and large tow based on tow. The small tow segment accounted for the major share in 2023. Small tow fibers refers to rovings that contain 24,000 or fewer filaments. They are broadly used in the aerospace and defense industry due to their high modulus and tensile strength.


Fibers containing 48,000 to 320,000 or more carbon filaments are called large tow fibers. Large tow fibers also held a considerable share of the market, which is anticipated to rise in the near future since companies are forming strategies to produce large-tow intermediates. For instance, in November 2017, Solvay acquired European Carbon Fiber GmbH (ECF), a German-based large-tow PAN fiber producer. This acquisition will enable Solvay to develop a portfolio of large-tow fibers to complement the company’s existing PAN and pitch aerospace-grade fibers range.


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By Application Analysis


Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Segment to Hold Major Share Due to Increased Aircraft Manufacturing


Based on application, the market is segmented into aviation, aerospace & defense, automotive, wind turbines, sports & leisure, construction, and others. Among these applications, the aviation, aerospace & defense segment accounted for the highest market share in 2023 and may continue its dominance during the foreseeable period. Composite materials are used in the aerospace industry in interiors, engine blades, propellers/rotors, brackets, single-aisle wings, and wide-body wings. Additionally, aerospace engineers are working to make flight more sustainable and safer, which has led to the use of fiber composite materials in helicopters, planes, and space shuttles. Therefore, rising aircraft production is likely to drive market growth.


Composite materials make up around 40% of modern aircraft. For instance, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger plane comprises about 50% of composite material by weight, mostly carbon fiber sandwich or laminate. Fiber materials comprise the main body, parts of the aircraft's tail, wings, and fuselage. Boeing states that using carbon and other composite materials allows for less maintenance as they do not rust.


The product is gaining prominence in the sporting industry. The increasing use of high-performance and lightweight materials in sports equipment will drive market growth in sports & leisure applications. In tennis, the materials manufacture lighter and uniquely shaped rackets that allow major players to hit the ball faster. In high-performance cycling, carbon composite reduces the bicycle's weight, improving lap times.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


Asia Pacific Carbon Fiber Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Europe accounted for the leading market share in 2023 and was valued at USD 1.06 billion. The higher growth of the market in the region is owed to the presence of a wide base of electric car manufacturers and the rising demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles. Accelerated usage of graphite fiber in the aerospace & defense industry will likely play a major role in driving market growth. Automakers are spending in R&D to develop cost-effective carbon composite materials significantly affecting the market in the region.


The presence of a well-developed aviation sector in Germany is expected to provide a favorable market growth opportunity. Eurofighter and Airbus A320 family have their manufacturing units in Germany. The country offers leading manufacturing bases for the aircraft industry and is home to several material and component suppliers, equipment manufacturers, whole system integrators, and engine producers. For instance, in February 2019, the German Aerospace Center developed a de-icing solution for critical points on aircraft utilizing CF and electricity.


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The Asia Pacific market is expected to register rapid growth during the forecast period. This growth in the region is linked to rapid urbanization and growing government spending on infrastructure projects. The increasing use of construction composites in building tunnels, bridges, and houses in India and China will drive market growth. The presence of leading construction companies in Asia Pacific has created a huge market opportunity for product adoption in the construction business. Further, the rising investment in aviation, aerospace, defense, and renewable energy is driving the product demand in the region.


North America is a heavily industrialized region with a well-developed automotive, aerospace, and defense industry. The region has a high standard of living and a mature demand for high-end vehicles, leading to the continued growth of the automotive industry. For instance, according to the American Automotive Policy Council, the automotive industry contributed 3% of America’s GDP. Automakers have exported vehicles and parts worth more than USD 1.1 trillion, nearly USD 36 billion more than aerospace. Automakers have been able to centralize production in high-functioning markets such as the U.S. by moving toward global model platforms. Some significant factors, including the region's developed manufacturing sector, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and supportive government regulations, are anticipated to drive market expansion.


 In the recent past, Latin America witnessed significant investment in the construction and automotive industries. For example, Mexico, owing to its logistical proximity as an exporter to the U.S. and Canada, has witnessed significant investments in the automobile sector. Rapid urbanization and the growing automotive industry in Brazil shall favor the industry outlook in the Latin America region. Brazil’s automotive carbon composites market contains several large and small supplier companies such as Cromitec, Fiacbras, Elekeiroz, and Embrapol. Further increasing industrialization propelled by foreign investment is anticipated to significantly impact the market.


The market in the Middle East & Africa is growing at a considerable CAGR owing to rising industrialization in the region. The rise in the GDP of the oil-producing countries has led to the growth of the aerospace and defense industry in the region, which is anticipated to continue soon. The GCC region dominates the Middle East & Africa market due to the high demand for automobiles in the region. A well-developed aerospace, defense, and wind energy industries in Israel and good trade relations with the U.S. for defense and military projects will likely create huge opportunities in the Middle East.     


List of Key Companies in Carbon Fiber Market


Companies are Focusing on Strategic Partnership and Acquisition to Strengthen their Market Reach


Key players operating in the industry are TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC., Solvay, Teijin Limited, Hexcel Corporation, and ZOLTEK Corporation Most of the key producers are focusing on acquisition, new product launches, and strategic partnerships to enhance their product portfolios, broaden their market reach, and gain a competitive edge over other key participants.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



  • Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan)

  • Solvay (Belgium)

  • Nippon Graphite Fiber Co., Ltd. (Japan)

  • TEIJIN LIMITED (Japan)

  • Hexcel Corporation (U.S.)

  • ZOLTEK Corporation (U.S.)

  • HYOSUNG ADVANCED MATERIALS (South Korea)

  • Advanced Composites Inc. (U.S.)

  • Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Formosa M Co., Ltd. (South Korea)


KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • December 2022- Solvay collaborated with Trillium on bio-based acrylonitrile to produce carbon fiber for automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and energy applications.

  • September 2022- Solvay launched LTM 350, a next-generation epoxy prepreg carbon fiber tooling material designed to deliver significant cost and time savings for the aerospace, industrial, automotive and race car markets.

  • July 2021- Toray Industries Inc. completed the acquisition of Tencate Advanced Composites Holding BV, a Dutch producer and distributor of carbon fiber composite materials. TenCate's parent firm, Koninklijke Ten Cate BV, agreed to sell the business to Toray for €930 million (USD 1 billion), including net debt. With this acquisition, the company would be able to provide a wider product lineup, such as polymer technologies and carbon fiber.

  • February 2021 –­ Teijin Limited launched Tenax BM (beam series) and Tenax PW (power series) brands of carbon fiber intermediate materials for sports applications. This launch will help the company to maximize power and speed due its exceptional durability and toughness.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Carbon Fiber Market

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The market research report provides detailed analysis and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, materials, products, and applications. In addition, it offers insights into carbon fibre market trends and highlights vital industry developments. It includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities. In addition to the abovementioned factors, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.


Report Scope & Segmentation



















































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate



CAGR of 8.8% from 2024 to 2032



Unit



Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Tons)



Segmentation



By Precursor



  • PAN

  • Pitch



By Tow



  • Large Tow

  • Small Tow



By Application



  • Aviation, Aerospace & Defense

  • Automotive

  • Wind Turbines

  • Sports & Leisure

  • Construction

  • Others



By Region



  • North America (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application, By Country)


    • U.S. (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Canada (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)


  • Europe (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application, By Country)


    • Germany (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • U.K. (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • France (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Russia (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)


  • Asia Pacific (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application, By Country)


    • China (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • India (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Japan (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • ASEAN (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)


  • Latin America (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application, By Country)


    • Brazil (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Mexico (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)


  • Middle East & Africa (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application, By Country)


    • Middle East (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)

    • Africa (By Precursor, By Tow, By Application)







Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 3.31 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 7.05 billion by 2032.

Growing at a CAGR of 8.8%, the market will exhibit considerable growth over the forecast period.

The aviation, aerospace & defense segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

Increasing product usage in automotive industry to drive market growth.

Europe is expected to hold the highest market share.

Research & development focusing on converting coal into carbon fiber is the key trend in the market.

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