The global fiber reinforced plastic vessel market size had a share of USD 1,123 million, which is estimated to project with a CAGR of 6.4% and reach USD 1,963 million during the forecast period. Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) combines polymer matrix and fiber reinforcement, commonly known as glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). FRP is widely employed in manufacturing vessels for various industries, including chemical, mining, power, pulp & paper, and others. Epoxy, vinyl ester, or polyester are typical polymer matrices utilized in manufacturing FRP vessels. Polyester-resin-based FRP is adaptable, has better dimensional stability, and is chemically resistant.
Vinyl ester FRP is more durable and flexible than polyester FRP and is engineered to handle bending and compression. Epoxy FRP has superior characteristics to polyester and vinyl ester FRP. Due to its longevity and sturdiness, polyurethane FRP is a commonly used material in the fiberglass industry. Due to its production and design capabilities, resilience, cost, stiffness, and impact resistance, FRP is a widely used material in numerous industrial sectors, including chemical, oil & gas, food processing, and others.
Compared to conventional steel tankers, FRP vessels are gaining popularity in transportation and automotive applications due to their lightweight and superior corrosion resistance. In addition, the production of FRP vessel products is vital in expanding the global market. The global fiber reinforced plastic vessel market is a low-volume, high-value industry since FRP vessels play an essential role in the automotive & transportation, water & wastewater, chemicals, oil & gas, and industrial sectors.
In addition, conventional application industries, such as pulp & paper, pharmaceuticals, food processing, desalination plant, and power plant, are anticipated to offer attractive growth prospects. Industrial sectors, including construction, consumer goods, and protective equipment, and maritime infrastructure, use FRP vessels extensively as a construction material, another element favoring the expansion of the global fiber reinforced plastic vessel market.
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Growing Employment of Fiber Reinforced Plastic Vessels in the Water and Wastewater Treatment Industry
FRP vessels are utilized in water and wastewater treatment plants with a daily purification capacity of 10,000 and 150,000 liters. Different FRP containers are utilized depending on the process type, such as anaerobic or aerobic. In addition, they may be utilized effectively to treat residential wastewater from restrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and washing areas. They are an excellent material for the construction of wastewater treatment vessels due to their eco-friendliness, durability, ease of installation, lightweight, and lack of leakage. Most sludge treatment vessels are built from FRP. Key competitors in the global FRP vessels market are pursuing many strategic advancements, such as agreements and novel product launches, which is a significant growth driver for the global fiber reinforced plastic vessel market.
Utilization of Fiber Reinforced Plastic Vessels in Chemical Industries
Due to its lightweight and corrosion resistance, FRP is the material of choice in the chemical sector for manufacturing process tanks, underground storage tanks, and vats. It is utilized as a sandwich material with steel tanks and as a protective lining, hence enhancing the strength of steel. Construction of reaction vessels, exhaust ducts, towers, valves, pumps, chimney stacks, cryogenic pressure vessels, and agitators are further applications of FRP in the chemical sector. In the chemical sector, rubber-lined steel was primarily utilized for making tanks, electrostatic precipitators, gas accumulators, and agitators. It is being substituted by a different kind of FRP based on vinyl ester because of its mechanical strength, increased resistance to water vapor, and ability to withstand stress.
To manufacture chlorine, the chemical industry must contend with severe corrosive conditions and water vapor. Consequently, FRP is frequently used in fabricating ducts and vessel covers in chlorine production facilities due to its ability to lengthen the vessels' service life.
Expenses of FRP Vessels and Regulatory Approvals
The high cost of raw materials and the significant expenditures necessary throughout the production process restrict economies of scale. Carbon fiber and glass fiber are extremely capital intensive, and as a result, many potential market participants are disinclined to enter the market. Carbon fiber and glass fiber are the most expensive raw materials for FRP vessels, which ultimately raises the total price of FRP vessels. Identifying and delineating low-cost methods for the commercial manufacturing of low-cost carbon and glass fiber composites is one of the most pressing concerns facing manufacturers worldwide. Additionally, the proliferation of regulatory bodies and licenses exacerbates the lag in manufacturing and approval of FRP vessels.
Use of FRP Vessels as Replacement in the Oil & Gas Sector
Steel pipes were primarily utilized in the oil production industry and for transporting crude oil; however, FRP insulated pipes are replacing steel pipes due to their capacity to tolerate hostile environmental conditions. Steel pipe service life is diminished with sulfur crude, muck, and saltwater. Consequently, FRP is used as a construction material in oil & gas applications and must be operated in these environmental conditions. The offshore oil and gas business needs to address the severe corrosion issue that causes monetary loss and higher maintenance expenses. In the oil and gas industry, FRP is frequently used to build duct systems, chimney liners, passive fire protection systems, and scrubbers. Oil & gas exploration and production have increased dramatically, necessitating using robust and corrosive-resistant materials and incorporating new, creative technology.
The global FRP market is categorized based on fiber type, resin, application, and region.
The segmentation includes glass fiber, carbon fiber, and others based on fiber type.
Glass fibers are expected to command the market with a share of USD 1,290 million and grow with the highest CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. FRP vessel composed of glass fiber is also known as a glass-reinforced plastic vessel (GRP). Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) is a plastic composite material incorporating glass fiber to increase strength and rigidity. It is commonly employed in fabricating vessels utilized in chemical and wastewater treatment plants. This fiber provides corrosion resistance and tensile solid and hydrostatic strength in an FRP vessel. It also features pressure resistance without structural damage, flexibility, thermal insulation, and abrasion resistance.
Due to its inertness to liquids and strong chemicals, FRP containers reinforced with glass are commonly utilized in liquid treatment plants. GRP vessels can bear high pressure without structural damage to equipment or nozzles attached to the vessels. The predominant market trend influences the adoption of GRP in water treatment plants. Larger GRP vessels typically require a ladder for equipment accessibility and frequent maintenance in chemical facilities. Therefore, these vessels are constructed from GRP that can handle the weight of a ladder, which decreases the possibility of structural damage to the vessels. The technological developments of GRP vessels have decreased installation costs and enhanced their resistance to leaking. Convectional GRP was made using a mixture of epoxy resin, which led to faulty vessel sealing.
Based on resin, the segmentation is done as polyester, epoxy, and others.
Polyester is expected to hold the largest market share with USD 1,244 million, with the highest CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period. Polyester-resin-fabricated FRP containers offer adaptability, dimensional stability, mechanical properties, and chemical resistance, among other advantages. Due to mechanical impacts, salt, starch, dairy residues, and other harsh environmental conditions, hygienic walls and ceilings in the food sector are typically vulnerable to wear and tear. Thus, sheets and panels made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester are commonly used in the food business to construct walls. In addition to its embossed surface, which sticks very well to ceilings and walls and facilitates the cleaning process, this material has additional advantages, such as its excellent adhesion to walls and ceilings and ease of maintenance. These elements are the global fiber-reinforced plastic vessel market's most significant essential trends.
In applications that generate a large amount of dust particles, such as milk powder manufacturing facilities, bakery ingredients manufacturing facilities, powdered nutrition ingredients manufacturing facilities, and pharmaceutical production facilities, fiberglass-reinforced polyester with a smooth surface is utilized. Product development of fiberglass-reinforced polyester gives advantageous qualities, including a broad operating temperature range, anti-static, food-safe, bacterial repellency, and high impact resistance.
The fiber-reinforced plastic market is segmented as automotive & transportation, water & wastewater, chemicals, oil & gas, industrial, and others.
The water & wastewater segment is expected to generate the largest share of USD 5,780 million with a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. Fiber-reinforced plastic is an excellent material for the construction of wastewater treatment vessels because of its eco-friendliness, sturdiness, ease of installation, lightweight, and lack of leakage. Wastewater treatment FRP vessels have additional benefits such as constant efficiency, 90-95 % of biological oxygen demand (BOD) reduction, and insignificant maintenance costs due to the lack of a drying bed. Several significant players use FRP as the primary material for building sludge treatment vessels. They follow several strategic advancements, such as the dominant market trend agreement.
Product development is the most significant element driving the demand for FRP vessels in water and wastewater treatment. In 2017, Fab Tech Inc. introduced a new FRP vessel designated PSP. It provides excellent performance, safety, decreased maintenance, and the ability to regulate odor in FRP ducts. In addition to water and wastewater treatment plants, FRP vessels are utilized for corrosive water treatment, sludge water treatment, and wastewater transportation. These reasons increase the demand for FRP vessels on the global market.
The chemical segment is expected to project the highest CAGR of 7.8% and reach USD 3,529 million by 2030. Due to its lightweight and corrosion resistance, FRP is the building material of choice in the chemical sector for process tanks, underground storage tanks, and vats. It is utilized as a sandwich material with steel tanks and can also be used as a protective liner, enhancing the strength of steel. In the chemical sector, rubber-lined steel was primarily utilized for making tanks, electrostatic precipitators, gas accumulators, and agitators. It is being replaced by a new type of FRP based on vinyl ester because of its mechanical strength, increased resistance to water vapor, and ability to withstand stress. The dominant market trend has led to the increased usage of FRP in the chemical sector.
The regional segmentation of the global fiber-reinforced plastic vessel market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific and Europe Are Expected To Dominate the Regional Market
Asia-Pacific is expected to advance with a CAGR of 9% and reach USD 1,010 million by 2030. China and India use FRP to tackle structural issues efficiently and cost-effectively. FRP is predominantly used for repairing and strengthening civil constructions in this location due to its advantages over conventional materials. India and China are two emerging and developing nations driving the construction industry's demand. China's increasing research and development efforts to reduce the cost of FRP and the increased use of FRP in the aerospace, marine, and automotive industries have increased the demand for FRP vessels.
The increasing need for new FRP material to renovate civil structures has prompted leading civil enterprises in India to use FRP. The construction industry is a significant growth sector in growing nations like China and India. Existing mission-critical structures must be upgraded and repaired. As a result of its higher corrosion resistance and weight-bearing capacity, FRP is widely employed in India for remodeling purposes. These are the primary elements driving the need for FRP vessels in the Asia-Pacific market. Renovation of civil infrastructure is anticipated to provide a growth opportunity for the FRP vessel market due to its potential and better advantages over conventional materials and retrofitting methodologies.
Europe is estimated to project a CAGR of 5.2% and reach USD 522 million by 2030. The construction industry in the UK is adopting FRP for house construction due to the material's better insulation and decreased carbon footprint. In addition, the increased production and consumption of FRP in the building sector result from the increased demand for low-cost housing and sustainable construction. Changing population demographics and the demand for energy-efficient homes in Europe favor the adoption of FRP for house construction. Europe's construction industry is expanding, with the 2017 construction rate of 120k dwellings increasing to 160k in 2018. Thus, the additional benefits of FRP, such as flexibility, lightweight, and cost- and energy efficiency, have drawn the attention of leading UK home builders. The predominant global market trend has increased the demand for FRP in Europe.
In addition, the government in the Europe region prefers modern methods of construction (MMC). Bathrooms and kitchens are the main contributors to MMC's expansion. Nearly 5 million residences are constructed in the United Kingdom, and FRP is predominantly used to construct bathrooms and kitchens.