Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Market Size is Anticipated to Touch an approximated CAGR of 8.3% During the Forecast Period(2023-2031).
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer is an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic containing carbon fibers, also called as CFRP. Carbon fibers are primarily used for the application where strength-to-weight ratio and stiffness are required, such as automotive, aerospace, sports equipment superstructure of ships, civil engineering, among others. In Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, the binding polymer is often a thermoset resin such as epoxy. However, other thermosets or thermoplastic polymers, such as polyester, vinyl ester, or nylon, are seldom used. The composite material may contain aramid, aluminum, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), glass fibers in addition to carbon fibers. The properties of the final CFRP product, however, differ in accordance with the additives introduced to the binding matrix (resin); the most common additive is silica. But other additives such as rubber and carbon nanotubes can also be used.
Composite materials reinforced with carbon are different from other fiber-reinforced polymers composites using traditional materials such as fiberglass or aramid fiber. The properties of CFRP composites that are advantageous include:
Lightweight: A traditional fiberglass reinforced composite has a higher density compared to carbon fiber reinforced composite. Carbon fiber reinforced composites have a density of 0.055 pounds per cubic inch, whereas conventional fiber-reinforced composites such as glass fiber or aramid commonly have a density of 0.065 pounds per cubic inch. This reduced density makes them much lighter than conventional fiber-reinforced composites.
Increased Strength: Not only CPRFs are lighter in weight, but they are much more robust and stiffer per unit of weight.
Automobile manufacturers are after alternatives for the conventionally used products such as iron and aluminum in the automotive parts manufacturing. The carbon fiber reinforced polymer market revenue generated from the automotive industry was around USD 5 billion in 2018 globally. In the automotive sector, the carbon fiber reinforced polymers are well known in the racing yacht and superyacht sectors for its lightweight carbon fiber rigging.
The global demand for carbon fiber reinforced polymer is expected to grow at a high pace, owing to its widespread adoption in the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry is now witnessing the replacement of aluminum with carbon fiber reinforced polymers. It is extensively used in the manufacturing of tail of radio controlled helicopters, manufacturing of airbus livery, and other structural materials such as paneling interiors, among others. According to Statista, the global demand for CFRP was around 128,500 metric tons in 2018.
Carbon fiber reinforced polymers are expensive as compare to other fiber-reinforced polymers such as glass fiber and aramid. In addition, the price of CFRP is almost 10 times higher than that of steel and aluminum used in the automobile sector. This factor can become a hampering factor in the growth of carbon fiber reinforced polymer in the global market. As of now, aerospace, defense, and high-end car manufacturing companies are primarily using carbon fiber reinforced polymers. For instance, expensive car manufacturer Lamborghini uses CFRP in their supercars. Besides, the long production cycle of carbon fiber reinforced polymer leads to less production of goods in a specific time interval, which limits its use in the application where a higher number of CFRP is required in a short time interval.
North America — Home for Gaint Automotive, Defense, and Aerospace Sectors
North America accounts for the largest share in the carbon fiber reinforced polymer market, followed by Europe, owing to the giant automotive, aerospace, and defense industry presence. In the year 2018, the carbon fiber production capacity in the U.S. was 45,300 metric tons. Europe accounts for the second-largest share in the carbon fiber reinforced polymer market due to the burgeoning building and construction industry as well as the automotive sector. In the European region, Italy generated around USD 586.3 million in 2017. The trend is expected to remain the same during the forecast period.
Growing Demand for Lightweight and Fuel-Efficient Aircrafts
Aerospace is the leading end-user segment followed by the automotive segment, owing to the increasing demand for lightweight and fuel-efficient aircraft. CFRPs are used in military planes and helicopters, attributed to their ability to reduce the weight of an object. Reduction in weight results in enhanced fuel-efficiency and overall performance of these flying objects. The aerospace segment accounted for almost 30% of the total market share in 2019.
Some of the prominent players operating in the global carbon fiber reinforced polymer market include
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