Recycled Carbon Fiber Market: Overview
- Recycled carbon fiber is an eco-friendly, economical substitute for virgin carbon fiber, which is often used in automotive and industrial applications. Recycled carbon fiber is commonly sourced from various dry fiber and pre-preg scrap. Recycled carbon fibers possess the same mechanical properties as those of virgin carbon fibers. They are ideally used in the manufacture of thermoplastics, non-wovens, and molding compounds.
- Recycling of carbon fibers offers benefits such as reduction in the quantity of materials entering landfills and cost savings of 30% for producers in comparison to new carbon fibers
- In automotive applications, recycled carbon fibers are often used in the production of chassis panels, floors, roof panels, spare wheel wells, and boot or bonnet inners
- In the railways sector, recycled carbon fibers are often used for reducing the weight of other ancillary parts; increasing the payload; and reducing damage caused to the infrastructure. Recycled carbon fibers are highly suitable for use in the railways sector so as to enhance the efficiency and fuel economy. In addition, recycled carbon fibers are employed to produce flat panel parts including floors, roof panels, and complex interior or exterior components.
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Key Drivers of Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market
- Growing number of legislations and environmental sustainability targets in the global automotive sector are projected to drive the global recycled carbon fiber market in the near future. The EU legislations have mandated that 85% portion of automotive vehicles should be made of recyclable materials. This has led to development of recycled carbon fibers in Europe. Moreover, the waste generated from carbon fibers can be recovered and transformed into new products, which makes recycled carbon fiber an ideal material for use in a wide range of industries. Furthermore, processing of recycled carbon fibers requires nearly 10% less energy than that required to manufacture virgin carbon fibers. This helps in fulfillment of legislative and sustainability targets.
- Nearly 30% of manufactured carbon fibers end up as waste. Carbon fibers is often regarded as a major contributor to solving global environmental issues. This helps in reducing a significant amount of carbon dioxide emissions over the lifecycle of products, which are made of carbon fibers. As a result, the demand for carbon fibers is projected to increase across a wide range of applications, including aircraft and automobile parts, in the next few years.
- Low cost of recycled carbon fibers is expected to offer lucrative opportunities to the existing producers of virgin carbon fibers to move toward recycling of carbon fibers. For instance, ELG Carbon Fiber Ltd., a leading producer of recycled carbon fibers, offers recycled carbon fibers at nearly 40% less cost than industrial-grade virgin carbon fibers. Furthermore, the company operates the world’s first and largest carbon fiber recovery plant at Coseley, West Midlands in the U.K.
Europe to Hold a Major Share of Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market
- Geographically, the global recycled carbon fibers market can be segmented into five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- In terms of consumption, Europe is expected to be the dominant region of the global recycled carbon fibers market. When a carbon fiber bonds to plastic polymer resin, a composite material is formed, which is strong, durable, and lightweight. Furthermore, at the time of manufacture of finished components from carbon fibers, more than 30% of produced carbon fibers end up as a waste. Thus, producers of carbon fibers are shifting toward production of recycled carbon fibers. Since composites are extensively employed in a range of applications in industries such as aerospace & defense, building & construction, automotive, and energy, the demand for recycled carbon fibers in Europe is expected to increase in the next few years. Furthermore, governments of various countries in Europe are highly focused on the use of eco-friendly products. This, in turn, is likely to increase the consumption of recycled carbon fibers in the region in the near future.
- The recycled carbon fiber market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is highly consolidated in nature, due to presence of a few producers in these regions. These regions rely on imports from developed nations to meet the domestic demand.
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Key Players Operating in Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market
Currently, the global recycled carbon fiber market is highly concentrated, with the top manufacturers accounting for a major market share. A few of the key players operating in the global recycled carbon fiber market are:
- Vartega Inc.
- Toray Industries Inc.
- ELG Carbon Fiber Ltd.
- SGL Carbon
- Carbon Conversions Inc.
- Carbon Fiber Recycling, Inc.
- Shocker Composites LLC.
- Procotex Corporation SA
- Alpha Recyclage Composites
- Carbon Fiber Remanufacturing
Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market: Research Scope
Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market, by Form
Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market, by End-use Industry
- Aerospace & Defense
Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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