Global Composites Market: Rise in demand for high performance materials.

Published Date: 20/05/2021

The global composites market size is projected to grow from USD 74.0 billion in 2020 to USD 112.8 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 8.8 %. The composites industry is growing due to the rise in demand for high performance materials, globally. The demand for composites is expected to decline in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, the end of lockdown and recovery in the end-use industries will stimulate the demand during the forecast period.

The automotive & transportation industry has the largest share in the composites market in terms of volume. The industry commits to comply with stringent regulations such as the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards and the European Emission Standards (EES) by the US and European governments. To reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which have an adverse effect on the global climate, the automakers in these regions are focusing on the production of lightweight vehicles with composites to comply with the government regulations and enhance the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

Manufacturing and non-recurring development costs continue to limit the penetration of composites in several resin types. Design consistency, process standardization, and maintenance technology are the major concerns. The lack of standardization of material and methodologies compels manufacturers to consider conservative designs, which hampers the mass production and economic performance of automobiles and aircraft. In addition, limited trained and experienced human resources restrain broader resin types of composites.

The complex material compositions and the cross-linked nature of composites, especially thermoset composites, make the recyclability of composites difficult. Thermoset composites are difficult to recycle as they are not easy to remold unlike thermoplastics. The difficulty in recycling is a major challenge faced by composite manufacturers. Most of the composites used are disposed of at the landfill.

The major raw materials used for the production of carbon fiber aerospace composites are polymeric resins and carbon fibers. The cost of carbon fibers is directly proportional to the cost of precursor raw materials from which they are obtained. Currently, carbon fibers are obtained from polyacrylonitrile (PAN), the cost of which in aerospace resin types is high. The development of low-cost and high yield precursors for making aerospace grade carbon fibers is likely to reduce the cost of carbon fibers significantly. These low-cost precursors for carbon fibers will reduce the cost of high-grade carbon fibers. The reduction in the cost of carbon fibers is expected to decrease the cost of carbon fiber composites, thereby driving the penetration of carbon fiber composites in various resin types, such as aerospace and automotive.

The key players in the global composites market are: - Owens Corning (US):, Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan) Teijin Limited (Japan) Solvay (Belgium): Hexcel Corporation (US, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (Japan), SGL Group (Germany), Nippon Electrical Glass Co. Ltd. (Japan), Huntsman International LLC. (US)

APAC accounts for the largest market share in the composites industry owing to the growing economies of China and India, the presence of prominent players, and expanding transportation, wind energy, and construction & infrastructure industries. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the demand for composites has declined from the automotive & transportation, electrical & electronics, construction & infrastructure, and pipes & tanks industries. However, major composite manufactures such as Teijin Ltd. (Japan), Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan), and Jushi Group (China) are operating in adverse situations with all the stipulated COVID-19 regulations. Furthermore, with the recovery of all industries and high-performance properties of composites, the demand for glass fiber composites will rise in the region after 2020.