The global thermoplastic composites market size was valued at USD 16.02 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 27.55 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.21% during the forecast period (2022-2030). A resin matrix, an armature, and functional additives are combined to create composite materials. Thermoset and thermoplastic composites are two different types of composites. Structural polymer composites gave rise to thermoplastic composites. As soon as thermoplastic composites are heated, they get softened and can be restructured without ruining them. And once they get cool, they solidify into the finished shape. Thermoplastic composites have low density, better insulation, environmental resistance, and better mechanical properties, and they may be chemically unstable in terms of physical characteristics. Additionally, they are recyclable, heat-weldable, and thermoformable. Thermoplastic composites are widely used in many end-use industries, including aerospace & defense, construction, automotive, healthcare, and others, because of their superior physicochemical properties.
As thermoplastic composites contain physicochemical properties, these composites are recyclable and are extensively employed in various end-use industries like aerospace & defense, construction, automotive, healthcare, and others. This contributes to the market growth of the global thermoplastic composites industry. The aerospace industry's growing demand, the use of composites to create lightweight automotive components, and the sizing of wind turbine blades to produce more power in onshore and offshore wind power plants are some of the current market-driving factors for thermoplastic composites globally. Contrarily, it is anticipated that the market's growth will be constrained during the forecast period by the high cost of thermoplastic composites.
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Demand from the Transportation Sector and Growing Use of Fiber Composites
Thermoplastic composites make heavy vehicles, rail buses, and automotive components. These materials are lightweight and aid in lowering the weight of cars, which reduces CO2 emissions and improves fuel efficiency, enabling automakers to meet CAFÉ emission standards and other fuel standards demanded by environmental organizations. The growing use of thermoplastic composite materials in racing and high-performance vehicle parts like instrument panels, front-end modules, door modules, roof components, appearance grade components, and under-hood components is one of the factors boosting the thermoplastic composites market in the transportation sector. The demand for thermoplastic composites is rising globally, including in the rail sector. High-speed rail uses these materials to reduce weight for interior and exterior applications on rail carriers.
Additionally, developing high-quality and specialized fiber reinforcement materials like carbon fiber, glass fiber, aramid fiber, and comparable ones was made possible by ongoing research and development across many industrial sectors, including electrical & electronics, aerospace, automotive, wind turbines, and others. Due to their lightweight advantages and efficiency, these fibers replaced the need for heavy-weight metal composites. Aerospace was where carbon fiber was first used, and from there, it spread to other commercial industries such as sporting goods and automobiles. Like automotive applications propelled glass fiber into the market, it now serves a wide range of industries. Increased composite applications therefore drive the demand for reinforcement materials.
Costly Raw materials
Thermoplastic composites are generally made of thermoplastic resins, which are way too expensive compared to thermoset resins. A sizeable portion of the total cost of these composites is attributable to the cost of raw materials. The cost of producing, refining, and manufacturing thermoplastic composites is high, raising the finished product. For OEMs in the supply chain, the high price of thermoplastic composites is a significant roadblock. There are numerous applications for thermoplastic composites across multiple industries. However, they lack actual commercial viability. As the price of thermoplastic resins and manufacturing costs decrease, it is anticipated that using thermoplastic composites in various applications will become practical. Hence, these products are not at all practicable commercially.
Increased Demand for the Electric Vehicles
At present, people are becoming extremely concerned regarding the environment. Electric vehicles (EVs) help the automotive industry reduce carbon emissions and are environmentally friendly. As a result, the demand for electric cars is increasing to diminish carbon emissions. The hybrid and electric vehicles market is anticipated to soar in the upcoming years. Thermoplastic composites are incredibly durable and significantly reduce vehicle weight. They are, therefore, beneficial in the production of electric vehicle components.
Currently, several businesses are engaged in the production of thermoplastic composite parts. For instance, to reimagine automotive designs and production, UNITI SWEDEN AB (Sweden) and KW Special Projects will use digital twin technology and thermoplastic composites reinforced with carbon fiber. Hence, the demand for electric vehicles is directly proportional to the need for thermoplastic composites. With the growing market of electric cars, the thermoplastic market also grows.
The global thermoplastic composites market is analyzed based on the fiber, product, resin, end-user, industry, and region.
Per the fiber type, the fragments are glass, carbon, mineral, and others.
The glass fiber section is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.22% by 2030 and hold the largest market share. The primary factor for the segment's advancement is its cost. Glass fiber is inexpensive, lighter, and elastic than the other fiber types. Due to its lower price, glass fiber thermoplastics are used comprehensively in end-use industries like building, wind energy, transportation, consumer goods, and electronics. Additionally, glass fiber quickly gets mixed with every thermoplastic resin. These factors will likely boost the segment's growth.
The other section will hold the second-largest share. Others consist of aramid and natural fiber types. Natural fiber thermoplastic composites are extensively exercised in the clothing industry as their properties comprise weight, strength, flexibility, elasticity, abrasion resistance, and absorbency. Conversely, aramid fiber is a synthetic polyamide polymer with a long chain that delivers significant resistance to tensile power. These are useful for manufacturing equipment related to armor and ballistic defense. Both of these fibers are used for commercial purposes that increase the growth of this market.
Per the product type, the segments are glass mat thermoplastics (GMT) and advanced thermoplastic composites (ATC).
The glass mat thermoplastic composites are projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.12% by 2030 and hold the largest market share. Glass mat thermoplastic has sturdier mechanical properties as it is a semi-finished artifact. This type of composite is considered a substitute for steel and aluminum. Additionally, glass mat thermoplastic is a frivolous substance possessing exceptional collision resistance. Hence, this type of thermoplastic is broadly used in industries like automobiles and aeration. Furthermore, the needs of the government for a higher economy and lightweight properties direct the growth of the global thermoplastic market.
The advanced thermoplastic composites will hold the second-largest share. The aerospace & defense industry is leading the advanced thermoplastic composites market as this type of composites is widely utilized in manufacturing aircraft structures like wings, fuselages, and interiors. The aerospace & defense industry, transportation, sporting goods, wind energy, and electric vehicle industries are contributing to the growth of global advances thermoplastic composites market by using them while manufacturing their products.
By resin type, the segments are Polyamides (PA), Polypropylene (PP), Polyether ether ketone (PEEK), Hybrid, and Others.
The PEEK section is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.12% by 2030 and hold the largest market share. The aerospace & defense, automotive, and medical industries enclose a strong demand for polyether ether ketone-based thermoplastic composites, which are exceptionally long-lasting and have tremendous environmental, fire, heat, and mechanical resistance. PEEK resin-based thermoplastic composites are chemically and fatigue-resistant and have better thermal stability in high-temperature applications. Their carbon fiber reinforcement grade provides excellent rigidity and creep resistance.
The PA segment generated the second-largest revenue. This type of resin is often preferred over conventional engineered plastics in applications as these are perfect materials for large volume regular items like gears, bushing, and plastic bearings. The high demand is being caused by an increase in the use of short glass fiber reinforced polyamide in transportation, sports & recreation, consumer goods, manufacturing, marine, energy, oil & gas, and construction & building applications.
Per the application, the global thermoplastic composites market is classified into oil & gas, aerospace & defense, marine, construction, military, and others.
The Aerospace & defense segment will hold the largest market share, projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.36% by 2030. The aerospace and defense industry considers thermoplastic composites as the proper materials to manufacture aircraft parts as they have better structural properties. In addition, thermoplastic composites contain a mixture of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and fiber-reinforced matrix structures; they can survive high temperatures, high stress, shocks, and impact charges. Aerospace composites are used in various aircraft frames, including the wings, interiors, and fuselage, because they can withstand harsh operating conditions, such as high temperatures, high stresses, shocks, and impact charges.
The construction segment holds the second largest market share. Thermoplastic composites are used widely in the construction industry because these composites are lightweight, solid, rigid, deformable, and recyclable, considered suitable building materials. During the forecast period, there is anticipated to be a rise in demand for steel-fiber reinforced concrete for use in pipes, septic tanks, and tunnel linings.
The region-wise segmentation of the global thermoplastic composites market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Europe and Asia will likely hold the majority shares in the regional market
Europe is expected to command the regional market while growing at a CAGR of 6.36% by 2030. Europe leads the global thermoplastic composites market, with Germany, Spain, and France as the top three countries in the region, respectively. Automobile and aircraft components rely heavily on thermoplastic composites. Manufacturers are increasingly using composite carbon fiber to replace metal components as concerns over fuel consumption and CO2 emissions grow. The automotive industry's thermoplastic composites market will be anticipated to increase due to technological developments that shorten production cycle times.
Western European nations account for most of the demand for thermoplastic composites, and it is anticipated that this demand will continue to increase due to the region's well-established automotive, aerospace & defense, construction, and electrical & electronics industries. It is anticipated that the entry of new aircraft producers, like Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd., into the European market will increase both the production of aircraft and the level of competition among regional aircraft producers.
The Asia-Pacific will hold the second largest market share of USD 7,485 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5.77%. This region recorded the highest thermoplastic composite capability. Due to the significant domestic demand for thermoplastic composites in transportation, aerospace & defense, and consumer goods & electronics, the Asia Pacific region holds a substantial market share. China, India, and Japan are the region's top producers and consumers of thermoplastic composites. The largest producer of electronics worldwide is China.
The electronics market's fastest-growing segments included smartphones, OLED TVs, laptops, wires, cords, and earphones. The emerging Asian-Pacific economies are expected to industrialize quickly, and the demand for wind power is anticipated to rise. Due to significant regional economies, Asia-Pacific is one of the most lucrative markets for manufacturers of automobiles, manufacturing, aerospace, and electrical & electronics.