The Asia-Pacific carbon fiber market is estimated to witness a significant growth, at an estimated CAGR of around 13%, over the forecast period. Major factors driving the market studied are the increasing demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles, accelerating usage in the aerospace and defense sector, and increasing usage in renewable energy.
- Increasing application in the wind energy sector, the increasing popularity of recycled carbon fiber, and emphasis on the usage of lignin as raw material for carbon fiber are likely to act as opportunities in the future.
- China accounted for the largest market share and is expected to continue domination during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Composite Materials Segment Dominated the Market
- Composite materials are of two types - carbon fiber reinforcement polymers (CFRP) and reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC).
- Carbon filament, the raw material for the carbon fiber reinforced polymer is produced from the precursor polymers, such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), rayon, or petroleum pitch. Carbon fiber is almost 10 times stronger than steel and less than half of its weight. It also exhibits high rigidity.
- The demand for CFRP is rising owing to the strong demand from the aerospace, defense, automobile, construction, sports, and leisure sectors.
- The CFRP is useful in weight reduction and thus is helpful in various areas. The use of these materials would help in reducing fuel usage and even coping with environmental regulations.
- The CFRP recently developed a great use in improving the marine industry. These plastics have played an impressive role in replacing the use of metals and high-tension steels.
- Reinforced Carbon-Carbon or RCC is a composite material consisting of carbon fiber reinforcement in a matrix of graphite.
- Many of the Carbon-Carbon (C-C) composites currently being produced are in the form of components for missiles and military aircraft. The most important applications include rocket nozzles, exit cones for strategic missiles, and brake discs for military aircraft.
- Potential near-term uses that have been identified are high-speed train and special automobile brakes and clutches, forging dies and molding crucibles, corrosive chemical reactors and heat exchangers, fuel cells, high thermal conductivity electronic substrates, prosthetic devices, and components for internal combustion engines and much more.
- From the above-mentioned points, we can determine the demand for the composite materials in various applications which therefore increases the consumption of carbon fiber.
Japan to Lead the Market Growth
- Japan is the fastest growing market and is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR of around 14 % during the forecast period, compared to other markets in Asia-Pacific.
- The Japanese sports goods industry is expected to play a key role in driving the market growth. The industry is poised with some opportunities in the form of Rugby World Cup and Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The growth in this industry will reflect the increase in demand for carbon fiber in the country.
- Also, the Japanese automotive industry is one of the world’s largest and renowned automotive industries. The investments made in the sector have enabled its growth.
- Japan’s automobile industry produces the third-largest number of vehicles in the world. The country is home to some of the major automotive producers, including Kawasaki, Yamaha, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Suzuki. Therefore, the automotive industry is expected to increase the consumption of carbon fiber in the future.
- Apart from the automobile industry, Japan plans to increase its share in renewable energy and hence, Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) handed a request to the government to allow the construction of offshore wind farms outside the port-related sea areas.
- Overall, with the growing demand from various end-user industries is projected to drive the market in the country during the forecast period.
The Asia-Pacific carbon fiber market is highly consolidated. The major companies include Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites Inc., SGL Carbon, Solvay, TEIJIN LIMITED, and TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC., among others.
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