Thermoplastic composites can be categorized as discontinuous and continuous composites. Long fiber thermoplastics and short fiber thermoplastics are the two extensively used types of thermoplastic composites. Thermoplastic composites have achieved rapid acceptance as a suitable alternative to metal assemblies, die castings, and traditional plastic materials in the market. Factors such as high impact strength, high rigidity, and better surface quality coupled with less product rejection, high resistance to extreme temperatures, and creep resistance in constant load and severe environments have led to the thermoplastic composites market being more attractive than metals and thermoset. The applications of thermoplastic composites have witnessed significant growth in the aerospace and defense industries, consumer goods, electrical and electronics, and automobile in emerging economies due to rapid urbanization. Constantly rising fuel costs have compelled the aerospace industry to look for lightweight and more fuel efficient designs for its existing models. These factors are expected to drive the market for lightweight composites to achieve sustainable development. The extensive usage of thermoplastic composites in various other segments such as consumer goods and electronics is expected to further augment the thermoplastic composites market.
Growing usage of thermoplastic composite materials in vehicle components such as chassis, wheels, hoods, and roofs in racing and high-performance vehicles is being considered to be a critical driving factor for the growing penetration of thermoplastic composites in the automobile industry. Lower cost for consumers and improvement in product performance through innovation is expected to further augment the market growth. The relatively higher cost of raw materials poses the biggest challenge to the industry and acts as a restraint to an otherwise booming industry. Consumer goods, and electrical and electronics are the other major application segments of thermoplastic composites.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading regional market during the next few years on account of the growing population and rapid urbanization in emerging economies such as China and India. Increasing workforce and subsequent development of industrial infrastructure in this region has led to the steady growth of major industries such as automotive, electrical and electronics, aerospace, and consumer goods. Japan, which is among the pioneers in electronics industry, is another market in Asia anticipated to witness steady growth in thermoplastic composites. Europe is expected to follow suit on account of the presence of well-established and influential automotive markets in Germany and Italy. Europe is also home to some of the biggest players in the aerospace industry, hence the thermoplastic composites market is also expected to rise in that segment. Similar factors are expected to play an important role in the market growth of thermoplastic composites in the North America region, especially the U.S. which houses several automobile and aerospace giants. Latin America is anticipated to witness a steady growth rate during the next few years due to the rise of automotive industry in growing economies such as Brazil. Thermoplastic composites market also caters to the growing requirement of consumer goods in Brazil. Hence, it is expected to grow into an important market in the near future. The Middle East and Africa region is expected to rise at a steady pace on account of the presence of fast growing economies such as the GCC countries and South Africa in this region.
Major players in the thermoplastic composites market include Royal Tencate NV, Cytec Industries, The Dow Chemical Company, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE, Bayer MaterialScience, Royal DSM, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
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