Balsa Core Materials Market size is forecast to reach $300 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 5% during 2020-2025. Balsa is a natural honeycomb-like cell structure, extensively used in sandwich composites for their unique properties. An increase in demand from wind energy industries for a high-quality product with higher strength and low weight is driving the growth of Balsa Core Materials market share globally. Moreover, the ecological advantages of balsa core materials over its substitutes such as PET and carbon core materials are also contributing to the balsa core materials market size growth during the forecast period.
Type – Segment Analysis
Multilayer segment is expected to dominate the balsa core materials market with as share of more than 55% in 2019. The ability of multilayer balsa core material to absorb more vibration and shocks as compared to monolayer, is driving the growth of multilayer balsa core materials market. Whereas, in sandwich composite, layers are adhesively bonded to the core, thus one-layer acts in tension as other layer acts in compression and the core resists the shear load. Hence, increase in number of layers provide high strength and bending rigidity. This feature of multiplayer core material makes it suitable for use in the in marine and aerospace industries.
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Application – Segment Analysis
Based on the application, wind energy segment holds the largest share of more than 30% in the balsa core materials market in 2019. Lower weight, cost effective and high strength of balsa core materials makes it suitable to use in the wind turbine blades. Furthermore, increase in the use of wind for power generation globally has propelled the growth of balsa core materials market. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), global onshore wind electricity generation increased by 12% in 2018 and is expected to grow in future, which in turn boosts the growth of balsa core materials market during the forecast period.
Increase in coronavirus has badly impacted the market. Industries are being shuttered all around the globe. Many industries have postponed their contracts, exports or imports which greatly affects the market and led to the downfall of economy. Due to the lockdown, Ecuador who is the major supplier of balsa wood is not able to export balsa core materials, which results in scarcity of balsa core materials for wind turbine blades manufacturers. For instance, considering the impacts of COVID-19 on wind supply chain, China Wind Energy Association (CWEA) has downgraded its onshore wind forecast from up to 35 GW to 20-25 GW in 2020.
Geography- Segment Analysis
APAC dominated the balsa core materials market with a share of more than 35% in 2019, followed by North America and Europe. Rapid industrialization and urbanization have driven the growth of balsa core materials market in APAC regions. Whereas, increase in the construction activities in the emerging economy like China and India has escalated the use of balsa core materials for flooring. Furthermore, emerging economic nations have shown rapid growth in balsa core material market due to their rising disposable income and neck breaking steps for the generation of power by wind energy to meet the energy requirements of aggressively growing population. According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Asia would become global leader in wind by increasing the share of installed capacity for onshore wind from 230 Gigawatt (GW) in 2018 to over 2600 GW by 2050.
Drivers – Balsa Core Materials Market
Superior Properties of balsa core material
Balsa core materials have excellent fatigue resistance and high mechanical strength which augments its use in various end use industries. Lower weight and the ability of balsa core material to withstand high temperature is driving its growth in automotive, marine, and aerospace industries. They are also used in construction activities for flooring, doors, window panels and ceiling. Increasing global floor area with a forecast to double in 2050 by Global Alliance for Building and Construction is likely to aid the growth of balsa core materials market. Additionally, rise in use of renewable resources and the use of balsa core material for manufacturing wind turbine blades is also fueling the growth of this market. Whereas, all road transport applications such as automotive, aerospace, and railways are striving to reduce weight without compromising consistent rigidity. This weight reduction significantly results in reduction of fuel consumption as well as in an increased weight capacity that automatically minimize the vehicle operating costs, hence due to this benefit, the demand for sandwich construction is growing from transportation sector, which in turn drives the growth of this market over the forecast period. As sandwich constructions offers benefits like minimal weight, excellent optical features, high corrosion resistance and enormous rigidity.
Sustainability and rising environmental concerns
With the increase in environmental concerns, the world is heading towards sustainability. Balsa core material is a natural resource derived from balsa tree and is biocompatible. The density of dry balsa wood ranges from 40-340 kg/m³ with a typical density of approximately 160 kg/m³. They are degradable and decompose in landfill without affecting the environment and human health. In comparison with paulownia wood, balsa wood has approximately 40% lower water usage, CO2 footprint and embodied energy. Exceptional properties of balsa core materials without affecting the environment is driving the growth of balsa core materials market.
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Challenges – Balsa Core Materials Market
Inferior properties and availability of substitutes
Although balsa core materials find wide range of applications but their moisture absorbing ability and volatility in prices acts as a restraint for the growth of market. Due to their ability to absorb large amount of water they are not used for making bottom hulls of boats. Furthermore, the presence of substitutes such as polyurethane and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are durable, light weight, moisture, and abrasion resistant is hampering the growth of balsa core materials market. PET is cost effective and lowers the dependence of core material manufacturers on nature for balsa wood.
Technology launches, acquisitions and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the balsa core materials market report. Major players in the balsa core materials market outlook are Bondi Environmental Material Company Limited, Bcomp Ltd, Carbon-Core Corp, DIAB, Schweiter Technology, Evonik Industry AG, Nord Compensation Spa, Gurit Holding Ag, I-Core Composites, Llc, Corelite Inc., among others.
In February 2019, 3A Composites Core Materials launched two innovative solutions to improve its BALTEK balsa core properties and reduce cost. BALTEK SealX reduces the resin uptake and BALTEK Adaptive ContourKore enables mass customization of finishing and reduces indirect costs.
In September 2018, Nord Compensati SRL has declared the availability of BALSA R5. This type of wood is very light, stable and easy to work and are widely used in fishing, amateurs sector.
Increasing environmental concerns and ease in degradability are the major factors driving the growth of balsa core materials market.
High prices of Balsa wood and global supply chain distraction due to the impact of coronavirus acts as a restraint for the growth of balsa core materials industry.
Neck breaking installation of wind farms for energy production in China is propelling the growth balsa core materials market.
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