Carbon Fiber Market - Snapshot

Carbon fibers are a group of flexible, continuous/chopped filaments derived from pitch, polyacrylonitrile (PAN), or rayon through a series of high temperature heating stages. These fibers have extremely high modulus and high strength. The fibers offer carbon content ranging from 80% to 95%. Carbon fibers are used in resin-based composites for fabrication of parts in high performance aircraft, space vehicles, and sporting goods to reduce the overall weight of the fabricated component.

Rapid Expansion in Construction Industry

Rise in spending on improvement of residential, commercial, and industrial infrastructure coupled with energy conservation initiatives are expected to propel the civil engineering industry during the forecast period. Modern architecture has grown substantially over the last few years. This has led to the development of modern materials that complement art without compromising on stability and strength of the structures. The International Building Code (IBC) has defined fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) materials as a class of interior and exterior building materials for the use in specific applications. Therefore, apart from interior and specific exterior applications, composites can be used as construction and architectural materials. An enclosed walking and cycling Skypath is projected to be constructed underside the Auckland Harbor Bridge in Auckland, New Zealand using composites. This is one such example of architectural wonder.

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Increase in Pressure to Provide Fuel Efficient Vehicles

The passenger cars segment is estimated to drive the global automotive industry in the next few years due to the rise in disposable income of consumers. However, increase in environmental concerns is estimated to hamper the global automotive industry during the forecast period. OEMs face major challenges in providing options to customers at low-cost. Increase in pressure to offer energy efficient cars at low cost is another major challenge faced by automotive manufacturers. Automotive manufacturers are focusing on reducing the weight of vehicles to provide highly efficient cars. Therefore, OEMs are substituting traditional materials with advanced engineered materials such as engineered plastics, carbon fiber composites, and glass fiber composites. Carbon fiber is used in exterior and interior parts such as door pillars, vents, and gas caps. Additionally, carbon fiber is nearly 50% lighter that steel. Thus, rise in demand for lightweight and efficient materials in the automotive industry is projected to create lucrative opportunities for carbon fiber manufacturers during the forecast period.

Relatively High Cost of Carbon Fiber Likely to the Hamper Carbon Fiber Market

Carbon fiber offers competitive performance, which is preferred by component manufacturers; however, it is more expensive than its substitutes. Higher costs of carbon fiber limits its applications; therefore, it is used only in high end applications such as aircraft components and premium car components. Thus, higher cost of carbon fiber is projected to hamper the global carbon fiber market in the next few years.

Moderately Consolidated Market Expanding through Frequent Mergers & Acquisitions 

Key players are focusing on mergers & acquisitions of regional and global players to gain a substantial share of the global carbon fiber market. In November 2017, Solvay acquired Cytec, a German PAN-based and PITCH-based carbon fiber producer. The acquisition is anticipated to significantly impact the global carbon fiber market competition. Moreover, in February 2014, Toray Industries Inc., acquired Zoltek, a carbon fiber manufacturer to strengthen its position in the global carbon fiber market. This acquisition helped Toray Industries Inc. become a leader in the global carbon fiber market.

Innovations and Developments to Reduce Cost of Carbon Fiber

Reinforcement fiber such as carbon fiber, is a primary raw material of composite materials. Demand for carbon fiber is increasing due to the rise in need for lightweight and high strength material in automotive, aerospace, and wind mill applications. This is due to the exclusive properties of carbon fiber such as high tensile strength, stiffness, temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion and weight. However, high cost of carbon fiber is restricting its usage in many applications. Carbon fiber composites are nearly five to 10 times more expensive than steel and aluminum. Therefore, reduction in the price of carbon fibers is likely to create lucrative opportunities for carbon fiber and composite manufacturers.

Top Three Players Account for Nearly 50% Share of the Global Carbon Fiber Market

Top three players accounted for nearly 50% share of the global carbon fiber market in 2017. Some of the key players in the carbon fiber market include Toray Industries Inc., Teijin Carbon, Hexcel Corporation, Mitsubishi, and SGL. Formosa Plastic Corporation, Kureha Corporation, Kemrock Industries, and Exports Ltd.

Carbon Fiber Market - Overview

Carbon fibers are used in resin-based composites for the fabrication of parts in high performance aircraft, space vehicles, and sporting goods to reduce the overall weight of the fabricated component. These are a group of flexible, continuous/chopped filaments derived from pitch, polyacrylonitrile (PAN), or rayon through a series of high temperature heating stages. These fibers have extremely high modulus and high strength. Carbon fiber find applications in automotive, aerospace, and construction industries.

Rise in demand for lightweight vehicles for subsequent reduction in CO2 emissions is anticipated to boost demand for carbon fiber during the forecast period. Carbon fiber offers several structural and weight advantages over traditional steel and injection molded automotive parts. These offer high stiffness, tensile strength, temperature tolerance, less weight, and thermal expansion. Thus, carbon fiber is preferred for manufacturing automobiles. Carbon fiber is primarily used in racing vehicles, supercars, and mid-to-high end sports cars.

Aerospace is a leading application segment of the global carbon fiber market. The segment is anticipated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period. Carbon fiber is used to manufacture various aircraft components such as brake wing components, tail and body of planes, and rotor blades of helicopters. In the last few years, glass fiber composites were extensively used in the aerospace industry. Use of carbon fiber is anticipated to increase significantly during the forecast period due to performance limitations of glass fiber and recent development of carbon fiber composites to cater to the growing demand for lightweight and high strength materials.

The PAN-based carbon fiber segment is projected to be highly attractive during the forecast period. PAN-based carbon fibers offer more carbon contents as compared to other product types and hence it is predicted to create enormous growth opportunities during the next few years. PITCH-based carbon fiber is increasingly being utilized in end-use industries such as aerospace and construction sports & leisure.

In terms of technology, the prepreg segment held significant share in global carbon fiber market in 2017. This technology produces consistent material and provides flexibility to fiber orientation. Pultrusion and other technologies such as centrifugal casting and automated tape lying are projected to constitute substantial share of the market by 2026. Injection molding is a high-volume, fast, and closed process. It is likely to be used in some end-use industries where previously the thermoplastic and metal casting processes were used especially in automotive and electrical components.

Aerospace & defense held significant share of the market in 2017 in terms of value. This segment was followed by the automotive & transportation segment. Carbon fiber composites are also used in sports and leisure products such as golf sticks, tennis rackets, knee pads, and bicycles. Expansion of the sports & leisure industry is ascribed to the rise in demand for sports goods in Asia Pacific, particularly in China. This is expected to boost the carbon fiber market during the forecast period.

This report analyzes and forecasts the carbon fiber market at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on revenue (US$ Mn) and volume (Tons) from 2017 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global carbon fiber market. It also covers the impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for carbon fiber market during the forecast period. The report includes the current carbon fiber market indicators. It also highlights opportunities in the carbon fiber market at global level.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global carbon fiber market. Porter’s Five Forces model for the carbon fiber market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape. The study also provides market attractiveness analysis on the basis of fiber type, technology, and application which are benchmarked based on their growth rate, market size, and market share.

The study provides a decisive view of the global carbon fiber market by segmenting it in terms of fiber type, technology, and applications. Based on fiber type, the carbon fiber market has been classified into PAN- based, PITCH-based, and others. In terms of technology, the carbon fiber market has been divided into prepreg layup, pultrusion, winding, press & injection molding, and others. Based on application, the market has been segregated into automotive, construction, aerospace & defense, sports & leisure, marine and oil & gas, wind energy, and others. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and future demand for carbon fibers in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Each of these regions are further analyzed on country level for major countries in each region.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global carbon fiber market. Key players include Teijin Ltd., Hexcel Corporation, Toray Industries Inc., Kureha Corporation, SGL Group, Kemrock Industries and Exports Ltd., DowAksa, Cytec Industries Inc., and Formosa Plastics Corporation.

Carbon Fiber Market, by Product (Tons, US$ Mn)

  • PAN-based
  • PITCH-based
  • Others

Carbon Fiber Market, by Technology (Tons, US$ Mn)

  • Prepreg Layup
  • Pultrusion
  • Filament Winding
  • Press & Injection Molding
  • Others

Carbon Fiber Market, by Application (Tons, US$ Mn)

  • Automotive & Transportation
    • Interior
    • Exterior
    • Others
  • Construction
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Sports & Leisure
  • Marine and Oil & Gas
  • Wind Energy
  • Others

Carbon Fiber Market: Regional Analysis (Tons, US$ Mn)

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • U.K
    • Spain
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Mexico
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC Countries
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa
.