According to the latest market report released by Foreign Markets and Markets, due to the increasing global demand for high-performance materials, the composite materials industry is growing. It is estimated that the global composite materials market will grow from US$74 billion in 2020 to US$112.8 billion in 2025. The compound annual growth rate is 8.8%. Among them, glass fiber composite materials will occupy the largest market share in terms of output value and quantity.
The impact of COVID-19 on the global composite materials market: COVID-19 has negatively affected the demand for composite materials in various end-use industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, wind energy, construction and infrastructure, and pipelines and storage tanks. . The interruption of the supply chain has led to the delay or non-arrival of raw materials, the interruption of capital flows, and the increase in the absenteeism of production line workers, forcing aircraft and car manufacturers to operate with zero or partial capacity, which has led to a significant decline in demand for composite materials in the short term.
The growing demand in the automotive and transportation industries is driving the demand for composite materials. The automotive and transportation industries currently account for the largest share of the composite materials market, and the industry is committed to complying with strict regulations such as the average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standard and the European emission standards (EES) set by the US and European governments. In order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that adversely affect the global climate, automakers in these regions are focusing on producing light-duty vehicles with composite materials to comply with government regulations and improve vehicle fuel efficiency.
The lack of standardization of manufacturing technology is a major obstacle to the composites market. Due to the lack of standardization of materials and methods, manufacturers have to consider adopting conservative designs, which is not conducive to the mass production and economic performance of automobiles and airplanes. In addition, the limited number of trained and experienced technical personnel limits the wider application of composite materials.
Reducing the cost of carbon fiber is an excellent opportunity for the composites market. Currently, carbon fiber is mainly obtained based on polyacrylonitrile (PAN), which is costly in aerospace applications. The development of low-cost and high-yield precursors for the manufacture of aerospace-grade carbon fiber may significantly reduce the cost of carbon fiber. The reduction in the cost of carbon fiber is expected to further reduce the cost of carbon fiber composite materials, thereby promoting the penetration of carbon fiber composite materials in various applications such as aerospace and automobiles.
Recycling-related issues pose the biggest challenge for composite manufacturers. The complex material composition of composite materials and the cross-linking characteristics of composite materials make it difficult to recycle composite materials, especially thermoset composite materials, because they are not as easy to reshape as thermoplastics. The difficulty of recycling is the main challenge faced by composite manufacturers, and most composite materials are currently disposed of in landfills.
During the forecast period, glass fiber composite materials will occupy the largest market share in terms of output value and quantity. Because glass fibers are inexpensive and have excellent physical and mechanical properties, such as strength, durability, flexibility, stability, and lightness, there is a high demand for glass fibers. Glass fiber composite materials are mainly used in the fields of wind energy, pipes and water tanks, electrical and electronic products, and construction and infrastructure.
As far as the composite material forming process is concerned, the layup process accounts for the main share of the composite material market. The choice of composite material manufacturing process largely depends on the shape and size of the structural components to be manufactured. According to the manufacturing process, the global composite material industry is divided into several parts: netting, filament winding, injection molding, compression molding, RTM, pultrusion and so on. Due to increased demand in the wind energy, marine, aerospace, and defense end-use industries, in terms of scale, the layup process has the largest share of the overall composite market.