In 2015, the Global Carbon Fiber Market was worth $2.25 billion US dollars. By the year 2022, this market is expected to be worth an estimated $4.65 billion US dollars, a compound annual growth rate of 11.1 percent during the projected time period. The growing aerospace industry, as well as the increased need for more fuel-efficient vehicles and strict government regulations relating to the pollution of vehicles are all factors that are expected to boost the growth of this market in the coming years.
Carbon fiber, which is also referred to as graphite, is made of carbon atoms that are bonded together to create a long chain. When combined, these atoms create a microscopic crystal that exhibits an exceptional strength to weight ratio. The properties of carbon fiber make it an excellent material for use in a variety of applications, including planes, cars, sporting goods, products that are used in construction, wind turbines, marine products, pressure vessels, among other applications.
There are several factors that are expected to fuel the growth of the global carbon fiber market during the forecasted time period of 2015 through 2022.
It is predicted that the increased demand for products that contain carbon fiber in the automotive and aerospace industries worldwide will have the most significant effect on the size of this market in the coming years. The specific properties of carbon fiber, such as its low absorption of moisture, its temperature resistance, its light weight and its cost effectiveness are all qualities that make this material so highly useful and highly desirable for use in products in these two industries. Moreover, the increased demand for lighter weight vehicles that are more fuel efficient, as well as strict regulations set forth by the government regarding vehicle pollution are also factors that are projected to fuel the growth of this market.
The increase in disposable income, as well as globalization, have lead to a greater demand for commercial aviation. These factors will drive the growth of the aerospace industry in the next few years, which will also help to boost the size and the value of the global carbon fiber market. Additionally, the surge in demand for sporting goods, particularly in countries located in the Asia Pacific region is also likely to increase the scope of this product.
Raw materials are necessary for the development of carbon fiber. The most notable raw material used for the manufacturing of carbon fiber is polyacrylonitrile (PAN).
In the upcoming years, PAN is expected to be used extensively for the production of carbon fiber. This raw material offers exceptional qualities that are ideal for the creation of carbon fiber. Moreover, the low cost of PAN in comparison with other materials that are use to create carbon fiber will also make it a more widely used product. All of these factors mean that the material is expected to be used in more applications during the forecasted time period, which will lead to significant growth of PAN. Experts predict that this raw material will experience a compound annual growth rate of 12.9 percent during the forecasted time period.
Carbon fiber is segmented based on tow size insights. Tow size refers to the fibers that the material is comprised of. Carbon fibers that contain filaments up to 24,000 are known as “small two” fibers.
Small two fibers are expected to see the largest growth during the forecasted time period. That’s because these fibers are widely uses in products in the aerospace industry, thanks to its very high tensile strength. Since it is projected that the aerospace industry will see substantial growth in the coming years, the use, and therefore the value, of small tow fibers will also increase in the next few years.
The global carbon fiber market is segmented based on the application of the material. Though it is used in a variety of applications, it is projected that the wind turbine segment will experience the fastest growth rate during the forecasted time period. It is expected that this segment will see a compound annual growth rate of an estimated 14 percent. The increased need for greater energy efficiency worldwide has surged the demand for wind turbines. Turbines that are constructed of carbon fiber are lighter weight, and therefore are more energy efficient, hence the reason why this application is expected to see significant growth in the next few years.
It is also believed that the aerospace and defense segment will hold a large share of the global carbon fiber market during the forecasted period of time. This will likely be due to more stringent regulations regarding the weight requirements of planes. Since carbon fiber is a lightweight material, it will be used more in the aerospace and defense segment moving forward.
Lastly, the automobiles segment of this market is also expected to emerge as yet another significant application segment. Carbon fiber is famed for being lightweight, and therefore it can reduce the overall weight of vehicles, hence the reason why this segment is expected to see growth in the carbon fibers market.
It is predicted that North America will experience an estimated compound annual growth rate of 11 percent between 2015 and 2022. Several large companies that develop aircrafts, such as Airbus, as well as companies that produce critical defense equipment, are located in this region. Moreover, several large manufacturers in the automotive industry are also located in this region.
Europe is expected to be the largest and fastest growing region in the global carbon fiber market. The existence of stringent laws, coupled with regulations that are focused on minimizing pollution will contribute to the large growth of the market in this region.
It is also expected that Asia Pacific will see moderate growth in the global carbon fiber market during the projected time period.