CFRP Market Overview
Fiber reinforced composites have been used in various fields of engineering since a long time, albeit their use mainly limited to automotive, aerospace, and defense industries. Technological advancements have led to development of lightweight composites with high tensile strength. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is made by blending carbon fiber into plastic in order to enhance its strength.The main element in manufacturing of CFRP is carbon filament produced from polymers such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), rayon, and petroleum pitch. The carbon fiber is woven into resin, mostly epoxy resin. The resulting material exhibits extremely high strength, rigidity, low density, excellent damping properties, and high resistance to thermal expansion. CFRP also exhibits enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity as compared to glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP). These key attributes of CFRP allow for its incorporation in a wide range of applications such as aerospace & defense, wind energy, automotive, sports equipment, construction equipment, pipe & tanks, marine, electrical, and electronics. CFRP are manufactured using methods such as molding, vacuum bagging, compression bolding, and filament winding.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency, and Renewable Energy (EERE)recognize carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced polymers as clean energy technologies.Aerospace, defense, wind energy, and sports equipment together contribute to a major market share.
Global Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Market Taxonomy
The global CFRP market is classified on the basis of the following segments:
Prevalent Scenario in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Market
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics is extensively used in the aerospace industry for manufacturing the body of aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus are making major investments in research and development of components for manufacturing aircrafts capable of withstanding high environmental stresses. These aerospace applications are subject to high standards, stringent compliances, and incur high licensing & inspection costs.Increasing regulations on vehicle emissions have forced the key automotive manufacturers such as Volkswagen, BMW, Ferrari, Audi, and many more to emphasize more on reducing the weight of automobiles. To curb weight of the vehicles, CFRP is being widely used as a polymer composite and it also results in improved fuel efficiency. Also, stringent regulations such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards in U.S. and carbon emission standards in Europe has led to increasing demand for lightweight composites for automotive manufacturers which in turn is significantly driving growth of the CFRP market. Growing awareness about renewable energy has led to increasing setting up of wind farms, which in turn fuels the demand for CFRP products.The thermosetting CFRP products consist of cross-linked polymers, which do not melt at high temperatures during the curing procedure. This ability has resulted into increasing applications of thermosetting CFRP and they contribute to a larger market share as compared to thermoplastic CFRP.
The CFRP products are highly expensive when compared to glass polymer and steel polymer products. Also, research and development of the CFRP products and its incorporation into wide range of applications incurs high costs. The manufacturing of CFRP products is highly dependent on the supply of large volumes of raw materials, which leads to limited production capacities. North America market contributes to larger market share as compared to Europe, due to rising research and development in aerospace and defense industries in the region. However, the presence of large number of major automobile manufacturers in Europe positions it as a high growth region in the global CFRP market.
The global Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics market is highly fragmented due to the presence of many established and emerging players in the CFRP market. Major players involved in the market include Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), Teijin Limited (Japan), Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (Japan), SGL-Group (Germany), Formosa Plastics Corporation (Taiwan), and Hexcel Corporation (U.S.).
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