Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market size is forecast to reach $4.1 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 6.5% during 2021-2026. The concrete reinforcing fiber is usually portland cement concrete with either metallic or polymer fibers. The increasing focus on the use of eco-friendly concrete, combined with the booming industrial and infrastructural sectors, is the key driver of the concrete fiber reinforcement market’s growth. The concrete strengthening of the growth of the fiber market is positively influenced by macroeconomic factors, including an increasing emphasis on the development of composite materials, especially in developing countries. Growing investment in construction and growth of infrastructure in different regions has also contributed to a rise in demand for construction materials. In addition, the government initiatives such as “Housing for All”, “One Belt, One Road”, and “RIBA Action Plan” are flourishing the residential, infrastructural, and commercial building sectors, which is anticipated to play a key role in driving the concrete reinforcing fiber industry during the forecast period.
The full effect of Covid-19 is expected to spell instability for the construction industry, despite the government placing industry at the center of its recovery plans. The commercial sector is largely affected by a change in consumer sentiment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The industry is dealing with broader systemic changes to e-commerce, exacerbated by the shutdown of non-essential retail, as well as the likely change to homework, decreasing demand for innovations in city-center offices and further diverting retail spending from high streets to online. Owing to these factors the construction output has significantly fallen during the pandemic for instance according to the Office for National Statistics, in July 2020, the construction industry remained 11.6% below the level of February 2020. And in August 2020, the level of construction production remained 10.8% below the level of February 2020. Also, a shortfall in the supply of raw materials from producers of concrete reinforcing fibers has resulted in a significant demand-supply gap. Furthermore, manufacturers are expected to be stranded on raw material orders due to a major effect on the logistics industry due to the lockdown in the COVID-19 area. All these factors are accumulatively limiting the concrete reinforcing fiber industry growth during the pandemic.
Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market Segment Analysis – By Fiber Type
The steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) segment held the largest share in the concrete reinforcing fiber market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.8% during 2021-2026, owing to the increasing demand in replacement of traditional steel-reinforced concrete in crack prone structures, such as canals, dams, and water storage tanks. SFRC is a structural material distinguished in the post cracking area by a substantial residual tensile strength and increased capacity to absorb stress-energy due to mechanisms of fiber bridging across the crack surface. SFRC is used in structures such as flooring, housing, precasting, bridges, tunneling, heavy-duty paving, and mining to strengthen long-term behavior, enhance resilience, durability, and stress resistance. In recent years, extensive research has been done on the mechanical behavior of the SFRC. The findings of previous studies suggest that the SFRC has reasonably good properties compared to standard concrete. The use of SFRC may therefore be a solution for improving the mechanical efficiency of the steel-concrete composite beams at negative bending times. All these factors are positively affecting the steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) segment during the forecast period.
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Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The infrastructural construction segment held the largest share in the concrete reinforcing fiber market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 7.8% during 2021-2026. In the infrastructure sector for making roads and bridges, composite materials such as fiber-reinforced concrete is largely needed. They increase the durability and load-carrying capability of the roads after the crack. In the construction of highways, bridges, railways, ports, and airports, fiber-reinforced concrete is also necessary. Demand for transport infrastructure has risen worldwide with the growing population, leading to an increase in investment in transport infrastructure. For instance, Mexico’s government unveiled a private-sector initiative in November 2019 to revive the flagging economy by investing nearly 859 billion pesos (about 44 billion US dollars) in the development of infrastructure. According to the detailed aspects of the plan, 72 projects were carried out in 2020, another 41 projects are to be completed between 2021 and 2024. Furthermore, in August 2016, the Ivory Coast government introduced an extensive development program and approved the first phase of the Road Development Plan 2016-2025 to strengthen and expand urban roads in the city of Abidjan. Hence, all such transport infrastructure projects and investments are likely to drive the demand for concrete reinforcing fiber from the infrastructural sector during the forecast period.
Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the concrete reinforcing fiber market in 2020 up to 42%, owing to heavy investments in railway, highway, and road infrastructure expansion by governments. The consumption levels of fiber reinforced concrete in Asia-Pacific countries are expected to rise at a robust rate, owing to the increasing demand from the infrastructural sector. The infrastructure projects have been increasing in the countries, such as India, China, and Australia, which are likely to drive the demand for fiber reinforced concrete market in the region during the forecast period. In India, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has set a target of increasing the national highway to 2 lakh km by 2022. China currently has numerous airport construction projects, such as, which are either in the development or planning stage. These include – Beijing Capital International Airport, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, and more. Australia’s federal government’s ‘Infrastructure Investment Program’, is expected to deliver US$57.5 billion in infrastructure funding through 2026 – 2027, including the funding of the US$7.7 billion “National Rail Program” and equity for other major infrastructure investments, which increases the market demand. The demand for fiber-reinforced concrete is therefore likely to increase at a robust pace in the Asia Pacific region during the forecast period, with all such investments and a growing number of infrastructure and construction projects.
Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market Drivers
Flourishing Residential Construction Sector
The reinforcing fibers are an ideal ingredient for use in concrete as it reduces shrinkage crack formation and cracks widths whilst also increasing performance in energy absorption and fire resistance. Additional advantages can also be found, such as the reduction or removal of reinforced steel and improved longevity. Thus, its demand is on an upsurge from the residential construction sector. The residential construction sector is thriving, mainly driven by the government’s efforts to sustain the demand of the increasing population. For instance, in 2019, the Thailand government allocated THB4 billion (US$125.6 million) to finance five low-cost housing projects in the country. In February 2020, the Department of Human Settlements has been allocated R95.9 billion ($ 6.5 billion) over the medium term (2020-2021), which will support the delivery of 22,696 housing subsidies in South Africa. In November 2017, the National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year was launched. The plan with an investment of $40-billion will remove 530,000 families from housing need and reduce chronic homelessness by 50%, which will boost the residential sector in Canada. In addition, the Government-wide program for a Circular Economy, aimed at developing a circular economy in the Netherlands by 2050 is boosting the construction sector in the country. Thus, with the flourishing residential construction sector, the demand for concrete reinforcing fibers will also increase, which will drive the market growth during the forecast period.
Expanding Commercial Construction Sector
Concrete reinforcing fibers are largely employed in the commercial construction sector in applications such as foundations, grade slabs, floorings, basements, and walls owing to their beneficial properties such as crack management and permeability reduction in various structures. Japan’s Kansai International Airport will invest about 100 billion yen ($911 million) through 2025 to upgrade the larger terminal, seeking to boost capacity at the country’s No. 2 hub for foreign flights. In February 2020, the Indian Union Budget aims to create 100 new airports by 2024 to help growing air traffic under the Centre’s Udan scheme. Over the medium term (2020-2021), R4.6-billion was allocated to the health facility revitalization component of the national health insurance indirect grant in South Africa. Planning and construction of the Limpopo Central Hospital in Polokwane, which is scheduled to be completed in 2025/26, will be financed by a portion of this budget In July 2019, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) awarded Saudi Amana Contracting a public tender award to build accommodation & offices for staff & laborers working on the project. The project is on schedule for completion by the end of 2022. 14 luxury hotels offering 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts are included in the plans. Thus, it is anticipated that with the flourishing commercial construction industry, there will be an upsurge in the demand for concrete reinforcing fiber, which will subsequently drive the concrete reinforcing fiber market growth.
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Concrete Reinforcing Fiber Market Challenges
Volatility in Crude Oil Prices
Polypropylene and Polyester are the key raw materials used for manufacturing the product meant for various construction applications. In the last few years, there has been volatility in the price of crude oil. The price of crude oil has decreased from $98.95/bbl in 2014 to $52.39/bbl in 2015 and increased from $43.73/bbl in 2016 to $71.31/bbl in 2018 and then decreased to $64.21/bbl in 2019, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. And because of this uncertainty in crude oil prices, the price of concrete reinforcing fibers also increases. These raw materials are derived from crude oil; therefore, fluctuations in crude oil prices are likely to affect raw material prices, thereby impacting the overall cost of concrete reinforcing fiber and hampering industry growth.
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the concrete reinforcing fiber market. Major players in the concrete reinforcing fiber market are Fibercon International Inc., Sika AG, ABC Polymer Industries LLC, Bekaert SA, FORTA Corporation, GCP Applied Technologies Inc., Nycon Corporation, CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., Owens Corning, The Euclid Chemical Company, W.R. Grace & Co., and Propex Global.
In September 2020, GCP Applied Technologies Inc. launched Version 2.0 for the new mobile app solution for STRUX 90/40 macro synthetic fibers, for use in different concrete applications.
Asia-Pacific dominates the concrete reinforcing fiber market, owing to the increasing government initiative in the infrastructural sector in the region. For instance, in December 2018, the Indonesian government approved Mandalika Urban and Tourism Infrastructure Project. The key infrastructure project is proposed to be developed in two phases: Phase-I (2019-2023) and Phase-II (2024-2026).
Stringency in environmental legislation positively impacts concrete fiber reinforcement sales. The evolution of environmental legislation has prompted numerous end-use industries to change their manufacturing modes and add more reinforcements based on fiber. Thus, environmental issues are likely to push potential sales of based concrete reinforcing fibers.
Increased use of composite materials is projected to have a positive effect on the development of the fiber industry for reinforced concrete. The rising replacement of steel fibers with plastic to minimize the total weight of the structure is expected to improve commodity sales in the coming years.
The addition of silica fume (SF) to concrete greatly decreases the permeability and diffusion coefficient of the concrete compared with those of plain portland cement concrete, which may restrict the portland cement based concrete reinforcing fiber market.
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