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The global ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) market size was valued at USD 371.0 million in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 388.3 million in 2022 to USD 574.7 million by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with ultra high performance concrete experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 3.0% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Ultra high performance concrete is a relatively new type of concrete mix that has witnessed significant development in terms of technological evolution due to new formulations over the past few decades. The UHPC mix consists of cement, silica fume, fine quartz sand, super plasticizer, steel fibers, and water content that is relatively less than that used in the conventional concrete mix. Ultra high performance concrete mixes can enable concrete constructions to stand out due to their extended durability and excellent load-bearing capacity.
Ultra high performance concrete typically has a compressive strength of higher than 150 MPa, which is 5 to 10 times stronger than conventional concrete. The discontinuous pores in the compact particle distribution prevent liquid penetration and considerably minimize structural deterioration. As a result, UHPC is utilized in a variety of civil engineering projects, including highway infrastructure applications and structural rehabilitation to address some of the key designs, service life, and life cycle costing issues associated with the usage of concrete, thus boosting the global market.
Stalled Construction Activities Due to Supply Chain Disruption Limiting Market Growth
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic served as a major challenge for the construction sector in 2020 as supply chains were disrupted due to trade restrictions and consumption of raw materials declined due to lockdown imposed by several governments worldwide. The construction industry apparently suffered its worst phase due to the pandemic over the past few decades.
The global construction sector witnessed consequences, such as shortage of construction materials, logistic challenges, workforce shortage, and uncertainty, leading to suspension or canceling of construction activities. The pandemic has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities and encouraged companies to reconsider their practices regarding manufacturing and sourcing their raw materials. Industry players in this market are coming up with innovative solutions to build a more resilient supply chain. This includes greater emphasis on establishing vertical integration by acquiring related companies. For example, in December 2021, MBCC acquired Nautec Group, a major producer of ultra-high-performance concrete and other cementitious composites for onshore and offshore wind turbine foundations.
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Rising Adoption of Architectural UHPC in Construction Projects to Drive Market Growth
Designers are coming up with innovative designs and architectural structures such as floating stairs, cantilever balconies, unitized curtain walls integrated with glazing assembly or opaque units, designer facades, and self-supporting structures, among other things. All these structures are possible due to the superior mechanical properties and dynamic finishes offered by UHPC. Additionally, building owners are focusing on giving their structures distinct identities through aesthetics. Over the last decade, a greater emphasis on high performance and lightweight building structures has gained popularity. Designers have been using UHPC in their buildings to create facades that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. This trend of producing distinctive designs is expected to continue during the forecast period, as more and more building owners choose this style. This, in turn, is likely to drive the ultra high performance concrete market growth.
Rising Demand from Construction Sector to Drive Market Growth
Compared to conventional concrete, ultra high performance concrete allows for faster construction while maintaining a high level of structural durability. Over the last decade, there has been considerable growth in the industry. This upward trend is expected to continue during the forecast period, owing to increased public and private sector investments in the development of better infrastructure. Rising infrastructure and building projects in the U.S., China, and India are expected to generate a significant global expansion opportunity for the market. For example, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan infrastructure bill in November 2021. The U.S. government intended to spend approximately USD 1.2 trillion on infrastructure projects, including a variety of civil construction projects across the country, under this initiative. The bill includes USD 110 billion in investments in roads, bridges, and other major infrastructure projects. As a result of rising demand from the residential and commercial construction sectors, the UHPC is expected to witness wider adoption across several regions of the world.
High Cost Associated with Initial Capital Investment to Hinder Market Growth
Raw materials used to make ultra high performance concrete are more expensive than aggregate materials used in traditional concrete mixes. Thus, employing UHPC in construction activities can significantly raise the project's overall initial capital cost. These components are either required to be specifically procured or need additional measures to make them suitable for use in UHPC mix, as the cost of these materials utilized in formulations is considerably high. The conventional concrete product can cost up to USD 100 per cubic yard as a ballpark figure. On the other hand, an article published during 2019 in STRUCTURE magazine claims UHPC’s total cost can go up to USD 3,000 per cubic yard, which is difficult to justify if the material is to be utilized in large-scale construction projects. UHPC is expensive; its usage is often limited to applications that need smaller volumes, such as connecting precast bridge components, where the financial impact on the overall project cost is minimal. Thus, this market is primarily hampered by higher initial costs of materials.
Slurry Infiltrated Fibrous Concrete Segment to Account for a Significant Share Owing to Rising Adoption in Construction Sector
Based on type, the market is segmented into Slurry Infiltrated Fibrous Concrete (SIFCON), Reactive Powder Concrete (RPC), and Compact Reinforced Composite (CRC).
In 2021, the Slurry Infiltrated Fibrous Concrete (SIFCON) segment dominated the market. This type of UHPC is widely employed in the construction industry, including commercial and residential buildings. SIFCON is appropriate for construction projects that require high tensile strength which is enabled by its high fiber content. Bridge constructions, such as pre-stressed girders and precast bridge decking, are among such infrastructure structures. SIFCON provides enhanced stability under dynamic, fatigue, and repetitive loading regimes due to its high strength and ductility. Due to its high fiber concentration, this type of UHPC mix is relatively pricey. However, it is an effective alternative building material for applications when traditional concrete mixes fail to meet the user's requirements or special qualities such as high strength and ductility are required.
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Road & Bridge Construction Segment to Hold a Substantial Share Owing Rising Demand for New Infrastructure
In terms of application, the market is segmented into road & bridge construction, building construction, military construction, and others.
The road & bridge construction segment accounted for the major share of the market. UHPC allows for the design of small and light structural components of bridges without affecting the structure's load-bearing capacity. Shorter setting times and cheaper maintenance costs can help countries expand infrastructure at a faster rate to match their economic growth. UHPC increases the durability while reducing the rate strength ratio. Such trends have increased the use of UHPC in road and bridge constructions in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. This, in turn, is expected to benefit and drive the market growth.
North America Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) Market Size, 2021 (USD Million)
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The North America market size stood at USD 127.8 million in 2021. North America accounted for a major market share in 2021 and is likely to maintain its position during the forecast period owing to rising demand from the construction sector. UHPC is widely used in North America for bridge construction. The construction industry in the region has emerged as a substantial consumer of ultra high performance concrete, owing to its inherent benefits and wide applicability. For example, according to Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology, Iowa was the first state in the U.S. to construct the first highway bridge in North America using UHPC. Rising government spending to upgrade the existing infrastructure is expected to result in wider adoption of UHPC in the U.S. Thus, the U.S. is anticipated to account for a leading share of the market in North America during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period owing to the higher demand from countries, such as Japan, China, and India. The growing awareness about the use of UHPC is increasing its demand in the region. Growing population, along with increasing construction activities such as rapid urbanization, increased infrastructure investment due to various government programs, and increased public income, are some of the major factors boosting the growth of the construction industry in the region. The growth of the construction activities in the region is likely to drive the market during the forecast period.
Europe holds a prominent share in the market. The market in Europe is anticipated to show moderate growth during the forecast period. This growth can be associated with the high demand for building, bridge, and road construction along with growing industrialization in the region. Rising government spending for the development of infrastructure is anticipated to drive regional market growth.
The Middle East & Africa will witness significant growth due to the rising construction industry in the countries such as the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia. Favorable government regulations in Saudi Arabia have included a program for infrastructural development which, in turn, supports the market growth in this region.
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Latin America’s industrial sector is expected to develop during the forecast period as a result of increased foreign investment during the last decade. Various countries in the region are expected to grow as manufacturing hubs due to their proximity to the U.S. and Canada. As the industries in the region expand, the demand for infrastructure to support this growth is expected to witness simultaneous growth. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the market growth in the region.
Strategic Planning Adopted by Companies to Strengthen Their Market Share
The global ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) market share is majorly dominated by a few major market players. The key companies operating in this market include HOLCIM, CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., Vicat, Sika Canada, and ACC Limited. The existing players have developed proprietary products. They maintain a competitive edge over other key players owing to the unique products they offer. The companies in this market are conducting continuous R&D to develop better solutions. This is likely to help them develop advanced concrete mixes and gain a competitive edge over other key market players.
Rising demand for ultra high performance concrete from different end-use industries is likely to prompt market players to enhance the quality of their products. This can essentially be done by actively investing in R&D while lowering costs via process innovation. Several other companies, such as TAKTL, Gulf Precast, ceEntek, CHRYSO UK Limited, and Freyssinet Limited, are active participants in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and products. Also, it offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years. It further includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.
Value (USD Million)
By Type, Application, and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 371.0 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 574.7 million by 2029.
In 2021, the North America market size stood at USD 127.8 million.
Registering a CAGR of 5.8%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2022-2029).
The road & bridge construction segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
Rising demand from the construction sector is anticipated to drive the market growth.
HOLCIM, CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., Vicat, Sika Canada, and ACC Limited are the major players in the market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
Superior functionality and properties offered by UHPC are anticipated to drive the market and create new market opportunities.
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