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Advanced polymer matrix composites market size is forecast to reach $15 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 7% during 2020-2025, owing to the rising usage of advanced polymer matrix composites in various end-use industries such as automotive, aerospace, marine, oil & gas, construction, biomedical, electrical, protective equipment, and others. The demand for advanced polymer matrix composites is increasing in varied industries due to its extensive set of characteristics such as high tensile strength, stiffness, fracture toughness, abrasion resistance, lightweight, puncture resistance, durable, corrosion resistance, excellent fatigue, and radar transparent, which is anticipated to drive the advanced polymer matrix composites market substantially during the forecast period.
By Fiber Type – Segment Analysis
Carbon fiber held the largest share in the advanced polymer matrix composites market in 2019, owing to its extensive set of properties such as highly conductive, excellent combination of high modulus and high tensile strength, very low (slightly negative) CTE and good resistance to high temperatures. Steel has a tensile modulus of 29Msi, as a point of comparison carbon low modulus fibers have a tensile modulus of less than 30Msi and carbon ultra-high performance fibers have a tensile modulus greater than 75Msi. Thus, these extensive characteristics of advanced polymer matrix composites are anticipated to further drive the advanced polymer matrix composites market during the forecast period.
By Matrix Material – Segment Analysis
Thermoplastic matrix material held the largest share in the advanced polymer matrix composites market in 2019, as thermoplastic matrix materials can be molded, melted, and remolded without changing its physical properties. The thermoplastic matrix materials have high-performance composites which make them stronger and less brittle than matrix materials of the thermosets and have excellent impact resistance and damage tolerance. Also, thermoplastic matrix composites are less dense than thermosets making them a viable alternative for weight critical applications. Since the thermoplastic matrix materials can be melted easily, it is easier to repair, remold and recycle the material, which is anticipated to boost the demand of thermoplastic matrix from the advanced polymer matrix composites market during the forecast period.
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By End-Use Industry – Segment Analysis
The automotive sector held the largest share in the advanced matrix composites market in 2019 and is growing at a CAGR of 7.3%, owing to the increasing usage of advanced polymer matrix composites in the automotive industry to manufacture automotive parts such as tires, belts, hoses, bumpers, body panels, engine parts, fuel tanks, paintwork, windscreen glass, headlamps, mirror housings and more. Some vehicles such as Bugatti, use carbon fiber reinforced polymer resin matrix composite as the main manufacturing material of the car body. Moreover, advanced polymer resin matrix composites materials can significantly lower the fuel consumption, and have anticorrosion and anti-vibration performances, so a large number of composite materials are being used in the automobile industry, which is anticipated to further drive the advanced polymer matrix composites market in the automotive industry during the forecast period.
By Geography – Segment Analysis
North America region held the largest share in the advanced polymer matrix composites market in 2019 up to 35%, owing to the increasing demand for advanced polymer matrix composites from the aviation industry in the region. Advanced polymer matrix composites are being widely used in aircraft tires and interiors. According to International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2019 the Unites States aviation industry recorded an increase of 1.4 percent in deliveries of U.S. manufactured aircraft, and FY 2019 showed that the passenger carriers aviation had a combined operating profit of $22.6 billion (compared to a $21.0 billion operating profit for FY 2018). Also, Mexico’s civilian aerospace market is USD 6.65 billion, with 46.5 percent U.S. share. Canada is the world’s fifth-leading aviation and the world’s third-largest civil aircraft manufacturer, generating $19.16 billion in 2017. The increasing aviation industry in the region coupled with wide usage of advanced polymer matrix composites to enhance the performance while reducing the weight of the aerospace is anticipated to drive the advanced polymer matrix composites market in North America during the forecast period.
Drivers – Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites Market
Increase in Automotive Production
Advanced polymer matrix composites is being extensively used in the automotive industries for manufacturing car components such leaf springs, hoses, body panels, dashboards, car covers, engine covers, car floors, seats and more, which is expected to increase the demand of advanced polymer matrix composites during the forecast period. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), China is the world’s largest vehicle market and the Chinese government is expecting that automobile production will reach 30 million units by 2020 and 35 million by 2025. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in 2018 over 27 million vehicles were sold. In 2017, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), 1.2 million new passenger cars, SUVs, and commercial vehicles were sold in the Australian market, an increase of 0.9% from 2016. Also, according to OICA, the production of light commercial vehicles has increased by 10.2 % in 2018 in the APAC region. Thus, the increasing automation production will require more advanced polymer matrix composites which will act as a driver for advanced polymer matrix composites market.
Increase in Aerospace Production
Aviation industries require advanced polymer matrix composites to reduce aircraft weight, which can improve its performance, and reduce their cost, which is expected to increase the demand for advanced polymer matrix composites during the forecast period. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2019 China was the world’s second-largest civil aerospace and aviation services markets and one of the fastest-growing markets. In 2016, according to Boeing, China would require around 6,810 new commercial aircraft, valued at USD 1 trillion, over the next two decades. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2018 the Indian government spent a total of $645 in the civil aviation sector. Also, according to Boeing India is expected to drive the demand for 2,300 aircrafts worth US$320 billion over the next 20 years. The increasing demand for advanced polymer matrix composites from the aviation industry and expanding aviation industry acts as a driver for the advanced polymer matrix composites market.
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Challenges – Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites Market
High Cost of Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites
The advanced polymer matrix composites are manufactured by a protracted process known as lay-up that slows down production rates, making the products less cost-effective for high production volumes. The lay-up process requires expensive training for labor and more sophisticated environmental and health considerations. Also, the price of glass fiber-reinforced thermosets and carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics is 62 percent and 76 percent higher than the conventional steel. The cost of polymer composites is estimated to be higher than that of steel bodies, even on a life cycle basis. Thus, the high cost of advanced polymer matrix composites due to its complex manufacturing process may restrain the market growth during the forecast period.
Covid-19 Impact on The Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites Market
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the advanced polymer matrix composites end-use industries are facing issues such as delays in receiving matrix composites from the manufacturers due to the restriction on import and export of materials. Furthermore, China, a major supplier of chemicals to the world registered a considerable decline in manufacturing in the first quarter of 2020, following the trajectory, unfolded by COVID-19’s escalation to a pandemic. Also, the shipment orders are being heavily affected due to the non-availability of vessels and blank sailing. Moreover, COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on aviation and the automotive industry. The production of automotive and aircraft has been disruptively stopped, contributing to a major loss in the total automotive and aerospace sectors. With the decrease in automotive and aircraft production, the demand for advanced polymer matrix composites for manufacturing various parts have significantly fallen, which is having a major impact on the advanced polymer matrix composites market.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the advanced polymer matrix composites market. Major players in the advanced polymer matrix composites market are Arkema Group, BASF SE, Hexcel Corporation, Cytec Industries Inc., Koninklijke Ten Cate BV, Toray Industries Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, TPI Composites, Inc., Solvay Group of companies, and SGL CARBON SE.
In March 2015, BASF SE launched Acrodur® Power 2750 X. The product offers low emission and cost-efficient lightweight composites with a higher share of natural fibers.
North America dominates the advanced polymer matrix composites market, owing to the increasing demand for polymer matrix composites from the electronics and optics industry to manufacture portable electronic equipment such as mobile phones and pagers in the region.
Composite materials are hastily replacing metals such as aluminum, titanium, and steel in automotive & aircraft components such as turbine blades, heat exchangers, and chemical reaction vessels as they provide for lighter weight and better resistance towards chemical corrosion, which is driving the market growth.
The demand for advanced polymer matrix composites is increasing from the medical industries to manufacture medical devices such as MRI scanners, C scanners, X-ray couches, mammography plates, tables, surgical target tools, wheelchairs, and prosthetics. The increasing demand for advanced polymer matrix composites acts as a driver during the forecast period.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the countries have gone under lockdown, due to which operations of various industries such as automotive, aerospace, and marine has been negatively affected, which is hampering the advanced polymer matrix composites market growth.
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