Canadian Manufacturing

Global carbon fiber market will hit $36 billion by 2020

This represents a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent

BOSTON—The global market for carbon fiber reinforced plastics, or CFRPs, will more than double to $36 billion in 2020 from $14.6 billion in 2012, according to data from Lux Research.

This represents a compound annual growth rate of 13 per cent.

“Aerospace and wind will duke it out for supremacy, while potentially high-volume automotive uses advance at a pedestrian pace,” said Ross Kozarsky, Lux Research senior analyst.

Kozarsky says new materials and processes will reduce costs, driving greater adoption across newer industries such as pressure vessels, marine, consumer electronics, construction, tooling, and medical applications.

Additional findings include:
Cutting precursor costs is critical. The industry’s best shot at achieving the price reduction necessary for high-volume applications like automotive is using polyolefin-precursor carbon fiber, combined with plasma oxidation and carbonization.

Fair winds for CFRP offshore. The trend in wind energy towards turbine blades more than 40 metres long will open up new opportunities for CFRP and will come sooner and faster in offshore wind than in onshore.

Partnerships between material developers and end users. The value of CFRPs lies in lightweighting, part consolidation, lower maintenance costs and reduced material usage. Consequently, partnerships are critical to ensure material developers integrate final parts into end user systems.

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