Sheet molding composite (SMC) or sheet molding compound is known as a ready-to-mold glass fiber reinforced with polyester material primarily used in compression molding. The sheet is provided by manufacturers in rolls weighing up to 1,000 kg. The resin is alternatively coupled with related materials and can be mixed on-site when a manufacturer wants greater control over the chemistry and filler. This is manufactured by dispersing long strands of chopped fiber, basically glass fibers or carbon fibers on a bath of thermoset resins such as polyester resin, vinyl ester resin, and epoxy resin. The longer fibers present in SMC result in better strength properties than sheet and bulk molding compounds (BMC) products. Typical applications of SMC include demanding electrical applications, corrosion-resistant needs, structural components at low cost, automotive, and transit. Bulk molding compound is a ready-to-mold, glass fiber reinforced thermoset polymer material used in compression molding, along with injection molding and transfer molding. Rising demand for lightweight, high strength, and fire and temperature resistant materials is driving the market growth for SMC BMC across the globe. Also, steady growth in the construction industry is influencing the market growth.
Based on fiber type, the SMC BMC market is segmented into glass fiber and carbon fiber. In the year of 2018, the glass fiber segment held the largest share of the SMC BMC market, while the carbon fiber segment is estimated to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. Glass fibers are looked upon as versatile class of materials that are extensively used as a reinforcement fiber for polymeric resins such as epoxy and unsaturated polyester. Although glass fibers possess less stiffness than other reinforcement fibers, these exhibit other distinct advantages such as high strength with low density and cost-effectiveness. Such fibers contain high tensile strength and good stiffness along with chemical resistance. Glass fibers are quite cheaper, less brittle and are easily available in the market than carbon fibers. Further, its bulk strength and weight properties are considered ideal and can be easily manufactured using molding processes. Such properties make it a best suitable material to be used across various applications including manufacturing of SMC BMC composites. Carbon fibers find their applications in various end-use industries owing to their excellent corrosion resistance, high stiffness and strength, and longer lifespan than other materials, such as aluminum and steel. The fibers are rigid and chemically inert, which makes them difficult to compress and stretch. They provide high strength to the vessels, thereby preventing explosions of gas storage vessels. They are also used in aerospace & defense, automotive, construction, and others.
Effect of COVID-19 upon SMC BMC market:
Covid-19 outbreak first began in Wuhan (China) during December 2019, and since then it has spread across the globe at a fast pace. China, Italy, Iran, Spain, the Republic of Korea, France, Germany, and the US are among the worst affected countries in terms confirmed cases and reported deaths as of March 2020. According to the latest WHO figures, there are ~332,930 confirmed cases and 14,510 total deaths globally. The Covid-19 outbreak has affected economies and industries in various countries due to lockdowns, travel bans, and business shutdowns. The global chemical and materials industry is one of the major industries suffering serious disruptions such as supply chain breaks, technology events cancellations, and office shutdowns as a result of this outbreak. For instance, China is the global hub of manufacturing and the largest raw material supplier for various industries. The overall market breaks down due to COVID-19 is also affecting the market growth of SMC BMC due to shutting down of factories, obstacle in supply chain, and downturn in world economy.
The SMC BMC market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, the Middle East &Africa. Asia Pacific held the largest share of the global SMC BMC market, followed by North America and Europe. China is one of the major countries dominating the SMC BMC market in Asia Pacific, followed by Japan. The presence of a number of companies that offer SMC BMC products is among the major factors driving the growth of the market in China. It has the largest population in APAC, and a dynamic shift in consumer lifestyle has been observed leading to the growing demands for better and improved products that are eco-friendly. This, in turn, leads to the SMC and BMC market growth in China.
ASTAR S.A.; Core Molding Technologies; IDI Composites International; Toray TCAC Holding B.V.; MENZOLIT; Polynt SpA; Showa Denko K.K.; HGGC, LLC.; Continental Structural Plastics Inc.; and LORENZ are among the major players in the global SMC BMC market.
The overall global SMC BMC market size has been derived using both primary and secondary sources. The research process begins with exhaustive secondary research using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the global SMC BMC market. Also, multiple primary interviews were conducted with industry participants and commentators to validate data and analysis. The participants who typically take part in such a process include industry expert such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers, and national sales managers, and external consultants such as valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders specializing in the SMC BMC market.