The global composites market size was valued at USD 86.40 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 153.57 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.90% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Composites are used worldwide to construct and repair a wide range of infrastructure applications, from buildings and bridges to roads and railways. These applications last longer because they are high-strength, won't rust or corrode, and offer long-term resistance with little maintenance. The demand for lightweight materials in the defense, automotive, and aerospace industries is on the rise, as is the need for materials with increased chemical and corrosion resistance in the pipe, tank, and construction industries. The composites market is also expanding due to increased demand for materials with high electrical resistivity and flame retardancy in the electronics and electrical industries.
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Increasing Demand for Lightweight Materials in Automotive Industry
Rising demand for composites in the automotive industry is anticipated to fuel market expansion over the forecast period. Rising gasoline prices have sparked the need for fuel-efficient vehicles. Thus, composites are most frequently used in place of steel, aluminum, and wood because of their superior strength-to-weight ratio. Due to growing environmental concerns and strict pollution control legislation, automotive manufacturers have been compelled to improve their technologies and create low-pollution vehicles.
The vehicle's overall weight is one of the most significant elements impacting fuel economy and vehicular emissions. Composites are only used in premium segment cars because of their expensive cost, but major firms are investing heavily in R&D to create low-cost composite grades with comparable mechanical qualities to the high-cost variants. This is anticipated to increase demand for composites in the automotive sector over the forecast period.
High Manufacturing and Processing Costs
The automotive and aerospace industries use carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) in several applications. The need for composites in these industries has been sparked by the demand for fuel-efficient cars and airplanes. The market for composites in the automotive industry is anticipated to increase due to existing and proposed legislative laws regarding the pollution created by automobiles. Despite the exceptional advantages composites provide, their high cost has limited their uptake in various application categories. Structures made of CFRP weigh around one-third the weight of aluminum and half that of steel. Due to its reduced weight, CFRP is chosen over metals despite being more expensive. However, because of the high cost of composite materials, their use is restricted to high-performance vehicles like jet fighters, spaceships, racecars, racing yachts, exotic sports cars, and most importantly, the most recent Airbus and Boeing airplanes.
Growing Utilization of Carbon Fiber Components in the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry's increasing use of carbon fiber parts, particularly in the electric vehicle category, is anticipated to present the composites market with numerous opportunities. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and in demand in the worldwide automobile market. By significantly decreasing car pollution, renowned automakers hope to adhere to environmental regulations and emission standards. As a result, battery-powered vehicles like cars and small trucks are becoming increasingly prevalent worldwide.
With the introduction of electric vehicles to their product lines by market leaders like Ford Motors, Toyota, and General Motors, as well as the rise of pure-play electric vehicle makers like Tesla Motors, production of these vehicles has accelerated during the past several years. Additionally, the development of fuel-efficient high-performance automobiles has boosted the demand for lightweight components, leading to the widespread acceptance of composites in the automotive industry.
The global composites market is segmented by product, manufacturing process, and end-user.
Based on the product, the global market is bifurcated into carbon and glass fiber.
The glass fiber segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. Glass fiber demand is anticipated to increase because of widespread application demand from the building, wind energy, electrical and electronics, and automotive and transportation industries. The penetration of these composites in the fabrication of pipes has expanded due to technological advancements that have improved their strength and durability. Additionally, the market is anticipated to be supported by increased demand for high-strength materials in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Carbon atoms are bound together in parallel-aligned crystals of carbon fiber, and these fibers are joined with other materials to create composites. A carbon fiber-reinforced polymer is produced when plastic resin and carbon fiber are molded together. These fibers are frequently used in industrial and manufacturing applications due to their advantageous qualities, which include minimal thermal expansion, high stiffness, high-temperature tolerance, high chemical resistance, and low weight.
Based on the manufacturing process, the global market is bifurcated into layup, filament, injection molding, pultrusion, compression molding, RTM, and others.
The layup segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period. The layup technique is frequently used to create composite materials due to the ease of technological application and the need for less expensive equipment. The process involves layering composite fiber over a matrix made of resin and hardener. The layup is then allowed to cool and set at room temperature to become more durable and robust. The hand layup process is a low-cost tooling technique that offers a variety of options for suppliers and material kinds. Rising production of boats, wind turbine blades, and architectural moldings are anticipated to drive the expansion of the layup process sector in the global composites market.
An effective procedure for creating fiber-reinforced composite products is pultrusion. It enables the producers to make fiber-reinforced polymer in one continuous length. This method makes the glass reinforcement saturated with liquid resin as fiberglass is drawn. A practical and resource-conserving technology for creating fiber composites with polymer matrix is pultrusion. The method can be applied to thermoplastic matrices made of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by enclosing the glass fiber with thermoplastic matrix sheet material or by impregnating it with thermoplastic matrix powder. The method enables the producers to create solid or hollow pipes, flat bars, tubes, channels, rods, and other products.
Based on end-user, the global market is bifurcated into automotive and transportation, electrical and electronics, wind energy, construction and infrastructure, pipes and tanks, marine, and others.
The automotive and transportation segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period. As a result of the components' considerable weight reduction, composites have benefits for the transportation industry, like rising fuel economy. However, only high-end vehicles may now use the goods due to their high price. The demand for carbon composites is predicted to rise due to technological advancements to lower vehicle weight. Composite materials are advantageous for the design and production of automobile parts because of their superior qualities, such as durability and lightweight.
Adopting composites in the wind energy industry is to reduce the blades' weight and uses their superior ability to endow the blades with features like fire retardancy, exceptional corrosion resistance, design flexibility, and durability. Wind energy is anticipated to grow at the fastest rate in the composites market over the forecast period due to the increasing use of composites and the rapid construction of wind energy farms. The wind energy sector uses composites extensively in several major applications, including wind blades, oil rig tubular, and solar panel frames. Since the materials provide superior performance to withstand intense mechanical and cyclic multiaxial loads of various amplitudes, glass fiber or epoxy composites are frequently employed for wind turbine blades.
The global composites market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global composites market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% during the forecast period. Due to the availability of substantial economies, the region is one of the most profitable locations for producers of electrical and electronic equipment, automobiles, buildings, and aerospace. The region's profitability is also rising due to factors like the rise in air passenger traffic, the production of more cars, and the aggressive expansion goals for electrical and electronic manufacturing capacity set by governments throughout the Asia Pacific, including China, India, Japan, and Taiwan. As of 2020, China had the biggest market for passenger cars worldwide.
Over the forecast period, an increase in the manufacture of lightweight vehicles is anticipated to fuel demand for lightweight materials, especially composites. Rising consumer demand for electronic devices, particularly in China and India, is expected to fuel market expansion throughout the projected period. For instance, more than 200 companies produce industrial machinery in Japan, including DMG Mori Seiki, Fanuc, Yamazaki Mazak, and Okuma. The market for composites is projected to increase due to increasing industrial investment and the nation's significant export of heavy machinery.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9%, generating USD 35,509.98 million during the forecast period. Due to their extensive manufacturing sectors, Western European nations have a disproportionately high need for composites. The well-established sectors of the construction, electrical and electronics, aerospace and military, and automotive industries are anticipated to propel industrial growth in the European market. It is expected that the entry of new aircraft manufacturers, such as Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd., into Europe will increase regional rivalry and aircraft output.
Over the projection period, demand for electronic components and appliances is anticipated to outstrip European supply. The German electronics market's industrial and automotive electronics sectors are primarily driven by megatrends like smart manufacturing, e-mobility, and the shift to renewable energy sources. It is anticipated that the expansion of France's maritime industry will contribute to the rise in demand for composites used in marine applications.
North America is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. Commercial, cargo, big passenger, and defense aircraft are all produced in considerable quantities in North America, especially the U.S. Additionally, the nation's car manufacturing sectors have demonstrated a high penetration of composites for the production of essential vehicle parts, which is predicted to increase demand over the anticipated time. Major aircraft manufacturers like Airbus S.A.S. and Boeing are increasingly using composite materials, which is driving up demand for them in aviation applications. Due to rising demand for commercial airplanes' interior components, such as ceiling panels, bulkheads, flooring, cabin dividers, and galleys, as well as increasing passenger traffic, carbon fiber composites are predicted to experience significant growth. Additionally, the Canadian automobile market is expected to grow due to advancements in vehicle technology, a receptive infrastructure, and government initiatives. The rising demand for automotive composites in the nation results from the increasing demand for light commercial vehicles and advancements in fuel-efficient automobiles.
Due to the country's economic recovery from the crisis, the construction sector in Brazil is predicted to have moderate growth. However, it is anticipated that government efforts to revive the economy through initiatives like "My House, My Life" and the "National Education Plan" will support the expansion of the construction sector and increase demand for composites in the building industry. Brazil's aerospace industry is projected to be driven by improved trade ties, a sizable production capacity, and increasing use of commercial aircraft, which will increase demand for composites. Brazil has a significant market potential for military aviation, notwithstanding the local economic problems. With a solid industrial foundation, Argentina's vehicle manufacturing sector has seen considerable expansion in recent years. Volkswagen, Fiat, General Motors, Honda, Groupe P.S.A., Ford, Toyota, and other major multinational companies are active in the market.
The global composites market’s major key players are Teijin Ltd, Toray Industries Inc., Owens Corning, PPG Industries, Inc, Huntsman Corporation LLC, SGL Group, Hexcel Corporation, DuPont, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S.A., Weyerhaeuser Company, and Momentive Performance Materials, Inc.