The global carbon composites market was valued at 188.85 kilo tons in 2022. It is estimated to reach 328.38 kilo tons by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.34% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
The global carbon composites market is primarily driven by the surging demand for carbon composites amongst several end-users like aerospace and defense, automotive, and wind energy sectors. The outstanding physical characteristic of carbon composites has increased its use in the aerospace industry, thereby boosting market growth. Carbon composites are composed of carbon fibers encased in a carbonaceous matrix. A composite material, also known as a composition material or, in its shortened form, is made from two or more constituent materials. Different chemical or physical properties of constituent materials are combined to create a material with properties unlike those of the constituent elements. Individual elements remain distinct in the final structure of carbon composites, distinguishing composites from mixtures and solid solutions.
Carbon fibers and polyester resin are the primary raw materials used to manufacture carbon fiber composites. It contains both pure carbon reinforcement fibers and matrix material. Their superior properties include low thermal expansion, low weight, UV resistance, durability, and corrosion resistance, among others. Carbon composites also have a higher stiffness-to-weight ratio than other conventional materials.
|Market Size||328.38 kilo tons by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Composites have long been used in the aerospace industry due to their excellent physical properties, particularly low weight, high tensile strength and stiffness, and excellent fire protection. Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics are ideal for lightweight construction in the aerospace industry because they have low intrinsic weight, high chemical resistance, corrosion resistance, and high strength and stiffness.
Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic is extremely durable and significantly lighter than aluminum or steel. It is used in primary and secondary structural and interior components, like aircraft seat components, UAV structural components, and bulkheads. Strong exports of aerospace components to countries like France, China, and Germany, along with strong consumer spending in the United States, have been boosting the manufacturing activities in the aerospace industry, which can induce positive momentum for the carbon composite market in the aerospace sector in the country's aerospace applications.
The construction of wind turbine blades is the largest application of carbon composites in the wind energy sector. Wind turbine composites are composites or components used to manufacture wind turbine parts, such as blades and nacelles, which exhibit resilience and tensile strength. In addition, the increasing demand for composites that improve the strength and stiffness of wind turbine structural components drives the market for wind turbine composites forward. Over the years, factors like the increasing cost of fossil fuels and enhancing the efficiency of wind turbines have boosted the growth of the wind power industry, in turn fueling the global carbon composites market.
Due to its exceptional performance, carbon composites are extensively utilized in several industries, such as aerospace, wind energy, automotive, industrial, marine, and others. However, the cost of this composite material is relatively high. Carbon composites are expensive due to the energy consumed during conversion, the cost of precursors, and the long processing time during conversion.
Advanced polymer matrix composites are produced through a process known as layup, which necessitates costly labor training and heightened environmental and health concerns. It is estimated that polymer composites are more expensive than steel bodies. Due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, the high price of advanced polymer matrix composites may impede market growth over the forecast period.
Carbon composite for automotive composites plays a significant role in the production of a variety of vehicles. Carbon composites are employed in several applications, including exterior components, interior components, structural and engine components, chassis systems, and other areas. Therefore, the market's growth is directly influenced by automobile manufacturers' market expansions.
The most important factor is the government's intention to promote the sale of electric vehicles. For instance, in June 2019, the German government and the auto industry agreed to boost joint subsidies for electric car buyers and stretch the program until 2025. Global governments support the EV industry to reduce carbon emissions. These factors can lead to an increase in the number of electric vehicle (EV) launches and influence the demand for carbon composites, which is anticipated to generate opportunities for the growth of the market in question over the forecast period.
Based on region, the global carbon composites market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global carbon composites market shareholder and is expected to expand significantly during the forecast period. The primary sources of demand for carbon composites include the aerospace and defense industries, the construction sector, and sports and recreation markets, among others. The presence of emerging nations like China and India is expected to expedite market growth. China will produce 26.08 million automobiles in 2021, a 3% increase from the 25.23 million in 2020. It is anticipated that the production of cars will drive the demand for carbon composites. Moreover, IATA predicts that by the end of the forecast period, India will be the third-largest aviation market in the world. IATA predicts India will surpass China and the U.S. as the world's third-largest air passenger market by 2030. Over the next two decades, India is anticipated to require 2,100 aircraft, amounting to over USD 290 billion in sales. Due to these factors, the aerospace industry is anticipated to increase its demand for carbon composites in the coming years. This is expected to propel the regional market growth.
In North America, the high consumption of carbon composite in industries like aerospace, automotive, wind energy, and construction has contributed to the expansion of the carbon composite market. The three domestic sports car models, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR, and Viper SRT, are the largest users of carbon composite in the automotive industry. Manufacturers of automobiles use lightweight materials such as carbon composite to make their vehicles fuel-efficient and lightweight. Similarly, the United States represents the world's largest aviation industry. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the general aviation industry contributes more than USD 247 billion to the US economy annually and employs more than 1.2 million people. Consequently, the factors above are anticipated to increase the demand for carbon composites, which will fuel the growth of the North American carbon composites market over the forecast period.
Europe is anticipated to boost at a moderate rate. The European defense market is expected to trace substantial growth due to the increased funding, as the members of NATO have aimed to increase the defense budget, targeting a defense spending of 2% of GDP. As per Barclay, with the achievement of these targets, an increase of Euro 60 billion (USD 67 billion) will be witnessed yearly in defense spending across Europe, where 30-40% will be accounted for in equipment production. The largest spending is expected to be observed in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. This high level of defense spending is expected to boost the regional market growth. Similarly, with growing interest in urban air mobility, Airbus, in May 2022, partnered with several German companies, research institutions, universities, and municipalities to model the air mobility initiative to bring the vision of air mobility into reality in Germany and worldwide. The initiative is expected to increase the demand for carbon composites for equipment and design applications in the aerospace industry in the coming years.
Brazil is the leading revenue contributor in the South American region. Brazil has a few of the largest electronics manufacturing facilities in South America. The nation houses numerous large electronics manufacturing plants for companies, including Samsung, LG, Dell, Multilaser, Positivo, Foxconn, AOC, Lenovo, and the Leadership Group. Despite the challenging situations, Samsung and LG are strengthening their positions as leading electronics manufacturing companies, depicting a scope for strong market potential. The production of electrical devices, appliances, and materials surged by 6.7% in November 2021 compared to the same month in 2020. Thus, the continuous recovery expected in the electronics market is likely to keep the demand for carbon composites firm from this segment in Brazil.
The global carbon composites market is segmented by matrix, process, and applications.
Based on the matrix, the global market is bifurcated into hybrid, metal, ceramic, carbon, and polymer.
The polymer segment dominates the global market. The polymer matrix segment is bifurcated into thermosetting and thermoplastics polymers based on type. The thermosetting polymer segment dominated the market. Thermoset composites are produced by blending a thermoset polymer with carbon or glass fibers. They are also appealing for various composite applications due to their superior strength-to-weight ratios, resistance to corrosion and other factors, and inexpensive manufacturing costs. The growing application of thermoset composite reinforced with carbon fibers increased its demand, leading to the expansion of the segment.
Composites with two or more reinforcement fibers are called hybrid matrix composites. Carbon-aramid reinforced epoxy (which combines strength and impact resistance) and glass-carbon reinforced epoxy are the most prevalent hybrid composites (which give a strong material at a reasonable price). Hybrid matrix composites are commonly employed when there is a need for a blend of characteristics derived from various fiber types or when both longitudinal and lateral mechanical properties are desired.
Based on process, the global market is segmented into prepreg layup process, pultrusion and winding, wet lamination and infusion process, press and injection processes, and other processes.
Prepegs are composite materials in which a high-strength reinforcement fiber is infused with a thermoset or thermoplastic resin arranged in a single or unidirectional way or woven together. It is usually an active resin with a very low shelf life when placed at room temperature. Prepegs should be stored at freezing temperatures (0 degrees Celsius) to extend their shelf life. Prepregs in which fiber and resin are infused together are not fully cured. The commonly used fibers are fiberglass, carbon fiber, or polyaramid. The materials in this stage are called B-Staged. The sheets of prepregs are very flexible and can be molded and cut in any shape.
The pultrusion process is an extensively automated and continuous fiber laminating process that produces high fiber volume profiles with a constant cross-section. The pultrusion process provides a high strength-to-weight ratio to the composite due to the high fiber volume ratio. Similarly, the winding process is an automated method for manufacturing composites by winding filaments under pressure/tension over a rotating tool. The composites produced are high-quality products with good material properties for strength and stiffness at low labor costs.
Based on application, the global market is divided into aerospace and defense, automotive, wind turbines, sport and leisure, civil engineering, marine applications, and other applications.
The aerospace and defense segment is the largest revenue contributor to the carbon composites market share. Initially, aerospace manufacturing relied heavily on metals like aluminum, steel, and titanium, which accounted for around 70% of the total aircraft weight. However, in recent years, the use of carbon composites in aerospace manufacturing has increased dramatically due to increased demand for properties such as weight reduction, extreme resistance, insulation, and radar absorption. Similarly, the defense industry uses carbon composites in missile defense, ground defense, and military marine applications. Some major players, like Boeing, have employed various carbon fiber-based composite parts in their airplanes, namely, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Several aerospace incumbents, such as the Boeing Company, the General Electric Company, and Airbus SE, among others, are investing more in the research and development (R&D) of advanced composite materials, contributing to the expansion of the carbon composites market.
Sports and leisure is a prominent end-use industry in the carbon composite market. It generally includes high-volume applications such as commercial sporting goods like golf, bicycles, hockey, tennis, and winter sports and high-priced items like boat building or competitive sports products. In this segment, technical requirements and marketing aspects override price restrictions. Strength and weight minimization are critical concerns for the producers of high-performance sporting equipment. Carbon composites can endure the toughest impacts in the most demanding environments. They impart remarkable mechanical and fatigue strengths and are greatly preferred by many of Europe's top sports and leisure manufacturers.