Construction Activity, Emerging Applications Fueling FRP Composites Market
Gains will be driven by ongoing expansion in the largest market, construction, wherein key applications, including windows and doors, bathroom components, and panels will benefit from fiber-reinforced plastic composites’ superior chemical resistance and lightweight strength. Those properties and others such as heat resistance and design flexibility will contribute to FRP composites growth in motor vehicles. Additional advances will be the result of general economic growth and continued market penetration of FRP composite materials.
Key Findings in the Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Composites Study:
FRP Composites Growing in Construction, Wind Energy, & Aerospace Markets
Growth of FRP Composites in the construction market, which is the largest market for the materials and accounts for nearly one-third of demand, will advance at the most rapid rate through the forecast period. Much of this growth can be attributed to continued strength in residential building construction, resulting in above average growth for windows and doors and bathroom components such as bathtubs and showers. Motor vehicles, the next largest market, will also grow at a solid rate, on account of growing use of FRP composites in automobiles, especially in medium and heavy duty vehicles. Mature markets such as consumer durables and electrical and electronic are expected to increase at a below average rate, while niche applications such as wind energy and aerospace are anticipated to expand at rapid rates.
Thermosets Important in Construction, Thermoplastics in Motor Vehicles
Thermosets account for over half of the resin used in fiber-reinforced plastic composites and are expected to maintain that advantage over thermoplastics through the forecast period. This is largely attributable to polyester’s dominance as the resin of choice in the construction market, where it commands a nearly seventy percent market share. On account of this, growth in demand for polyester will be the strongest for all thermosets. Other thermosets will experience the strongest growth in wind energy and aerospace markets. Thermoplastics will also see growing usage in wind energy markets, but the bulk of gains will come from motor vehicles, where they are employed for their diversity of functional properties in automobile interiors, exteriors, and underhood applications, in products based on nylon and polypropylene, for example, the two largest thermoplastic markets for FRP composites. Overall, thermoplastics growth will be restrained by lack of familiarity with the products among composites producers.
High-Value Carbon Fiber Reinforcements Growing from a Small Base
Glass fibers so overwhelmingly dominate the market on a volume basis, that all other fibers combined represent only a small fraction of the market. By value, on the other hand, carbon fiber and other fibers, including aramid, represent a substantial share of fiber demand, on account of their higher prices on a per pound basis. Carbon fiber is expected to see the strongest growth because of its use in aerospace and other developing industrial applications.
This study presents historical demand data (2005, 2010 and 2015) and forecasts (2020 and 2025) by fiber (glass, carbon & other), product (thermoset polyester, epoxy, vinyl ester, other thermosets, nylon, thermoplastic polyester, polypropylene, styrenics, polycarbonate, other thermoplastics), and market (construction, motor vehicles, electrical & electronic, consumer durables, marine, wind energy, aerospace, other markets). The study also evaluates company market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors including AGY, AOC, Hexcel, Hexion, Owens Corning, PPG, Reichhold, Solvay, Strongwell, and Toray.