Natural fiber reinforced plastic market size will expand substantially through 2027 led by the increasing demand and adoption of biobased composites across numerous industries. Mounting concerns related to the environment, tightening environmental regulations, and the unsustainable consumption of petroleum have led to the increasing utilization of naturally sourced materials.
Natural fiber reinforced plastics are a type of bio-composite materials made of natural fibers such as cotton, flax, jute, ramie, sisal, banana, coir, and others. The exceptional physical characteristics, chemical composition, and aesthetics make these materials an attractive alternative for automotive, aerospace, building & construction, and other applications. These composites are lighter, quitter, and have a more sustainable and economical lifecycle. In addition, the extraction of fibers from natural sources generates fewer emissions and requires less energy compared to other sources such as petroleum and gas.
The natural fiber reinforced plastic industry is expanding due to their growing acceptance in automotive and aerospace sectors. This is because these high-performance advanced composites combine high strength and stiffness with superior thermal and acoustic insulation properties, producing damped noise and vibrations. Besides automotive and aerospace applications, these properties also make them an ideal material for architectural purposes.
Considering the application landscape, the natural fiber reinforced plastic market is expected to witness a strong demand from the building & construction sector between 2021 and 2027. The demand for biobased and eco-friendly construction materials is constantly increasing due global warming and the rapidly changing climatic conditions. The tightening regulatory norms coupled with the ongoing efforts of the construction sector to reduce its carbon footprint indicate promising growth opportunities for the market.
On the basis of geography, Europe natural fiber reinforced plastic industry is estimated to grow at a steady rate in the forthcoming years. The regional demand will be primarily influenced by the presence of some of the world’s largest automotive and aerospace manufacturers who are continuously working towards achieving better fuel efficiency and lower weight. Germany-based premium sportscar maker Porsche, for instance, has been integrating renewables-based body parts including front spoilers, front and rear aprons, and front and rear lids into its vehicles. In 2020, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR featured a complete body kit with natural fiber composites for the first time.
The introduction of tighter emission norms will certainly accelerate the product demand across Europe. The regional building & construction sector is also anticipated to create favorable opportunities due to the growing federal focus on green buildings.
UPM, Amorim, Golden Compound GmbH, Tecnaro GmbH, Linotech General Contracting, Hexpol, GreenGran, Mondi Paper, Plasticwood, Pinuform, and Advanced Compounding Rudolstadt GmbH are some of the leading manufacturers of natural fiber reinforced plastic composites. The market players are bound to witness promising opportunities during the analysis period 2021-2027.
How has COVID-19 impacted natural fiber reinforced plastic market forecast?
The impact of the coronavirus crisis on the industry can be directly linked to the disruptions caused in automotive, aerospace, building & construction, and other sectors. Due to strict containment measures enforced by the respective governments, industrial and manufacturing activities were temporarily restricted. The pandemic saw major automakers, aircraft manufacturers, and OEMs halt production or operate at a reduced capacity. Meanwhile, numerous large-scale construction and infrastructure projects were postponed or put on hold temporarily. Combinedly, these factors caused a major decline in the product demand.
In addition to the weakened product demand, the manufacturers of natural fiber reinforced plastics faced challenges such as logistics and supply chain issues, workforce shortages, and strict government protocols. The restriction on movement had also led to raw material shortages in many regions.
However, the impacts caused due to the pandemic are expected to subside in the coming years as the COVID-19 crisis improves and government restrictions are lifted. Post the pandemic, the demand for biobased composites in modern construction, automaking, and aerospace applications will augment the natural fiber reinforced plastic market share.