Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) market size is slated to grow from 2021 to 2027 due to rising penetration in diverse industrial applications. The enforcement of severe government regulations on vehicle emissions and the rising concerns on limiting fuel consumption has triggered the demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites are lightweight, strong materials employed in the production of various aircraft and automotive components.
Significant strides in the development of affordable products and technologies, rising industrialization, and the booming automotive sector will act as potential drivers for the market. However, the higher cost of product, fluctuating raw material prices, and inadequate production capacities may pose a challenge to the product demand progression.
The CFRP market share from PAN-based raw materials is slated to witness exponential growth through 2027. This is mainly ascribing to the increasing adoption of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) in the production of carbon fiber reinforced plastics given its high tensile strength, thermal stability as well as low density. The product also offers benefits like optimum non-melting and chemical resistance, adding positive impetus to the market remuneration.
On the basis of type, the carbon fiber reinforced plastic industry is segmented into thermosetting, and thermoplastic. Out of these, the market share from the thermosetting segment will expand on account of swelling adoption in the automotive and aerospace sector to offer higher resistance to chemicals and dimensional stability. Given their superior strength-to-weight ratio performance and enhanced dielectric strength, thermosetting polymers are increasingly used in the production of permanent components as well as massive, solid shapes. The higher preference for polyester resin CFRP is another trend influencing the market expansion.
The utility of carbon fiber reinforced plastics is expected to grow in aerospace & defense applications with growing penetration in commercial aircraft, satellites, launchers, and helicopters. The increasing emphasis on performance improvement coupled with the surging need for lightweight and fuel-efficient aircraft has led to the higher product adoption in specialty component production in the defense sector. The rising technological developments, escalating defense budgets, and the soaring need for aerospace-grade CFRP are some major factors likely to foster market growth.
Regionally, Europe is anticipated to hold a significant share in the CFRP industry on account of the flourishing wind energy sector and the rising number of offshore wind energy installations. The robust presence of leading aircraft composite producers in the region has triggered a higher product adoption in aerospace and defense applications. The rising need for composites materials has steered the rise in the number of airbus aircraft deliveries. The increasing production rate of military planes and helicopters will additionally favor the regional market proliferation.
The carbon fiber reinforced plastics industry comprises the presence of players, such as SGL Carbon SE, Teijin Limited, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings), Toray Industries Inc., Formosa Plastics Corporation, Nippon Inc., Solvay Inc., Hexcel Corporation, SABIC (Saudi Aramco), and Cytec Industries Inc. (Solvay S.A.).
Strategic marketing team-ups, such as partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions, besides investments and capacity expansions, are some of the key initiatives implemented by these companies to strengthen their market position and attain competitive advantages.
For instance, in January 2021, SGL Carbon introduced a novel production process for its fiber-based composites, in a bid to ramp up its carbon fiber composite manufacturing for e-mobility by enhancing its operations in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
In response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the carbon fiber reinforced plastics industry observed stunted growth. This is on account of the stalled manufacturing activities across the aerospace and automotive sectors as well as the plummeted sales of air transport. The shrinking industrial operations and investments across most parts of the world also gave rise to roadblocks for the business expansion. However, with the gradual recovering of most vehicle and aerospace firms, the market share is set to pick up significant steam in the coming years.