The Friction Product And Materials Market

Published - Nov 2003| Analyst - Calvin Swift| Code - AVM028B
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Report Highlights


  • The global market for friction products and materials is estimated at $6.8 billion in 2003 and is expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 2.6% to reach $7.75 billion in 2008.
  • Both original equipment and aftermarket ground transportation applications represent the largest single market for friction materials, accounting for 55% of the total, but features the lowest growth.
  • Friction materials in aircraft/aerospace, a segment drastically affected by the 1990s reduction of defense spending and the aftermath of September 11th, accounts for 10% of the total. It is now growing at an AAGR of 4.5% over the long term.
  • Railway, construction and other off-road, oilfield, and other industrial applications typically account for the remaining 35%, and is expected to rise at an AAGR of 2.9% during the forecast period.


The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the North American market for friction products and materials in light vehicles, medium and heavy-duty trucks, and industrial production as well as potential opportunities in the future. The report covers both OE (original equipment) markets and the aftermarket. Its objectives include a thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the friction products and materials , as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. Social, political, and regulatory issues are also covered, as are international markets. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for friction products and materials.


The friction materials industry is relatively secretive, and as such it is very difficult to obtain solid information on how much of these materials are being sold and where. There are very few sources concerning friction materials, and they have presented a most incomplete picture. Estimates for the size of the friction materials market have been few and far between, although a number of companies have evinced interest in the market.


Audiences for this study include marketing executives, unit managers and other decision-makers in the friction products and materials companies. Technology suppliers, suppliers of plastic resins and other materials companies, and other companies peripheral to this also represent a key audience.


The scope of this report is comprehensive, covering the present status of and future prospects for OE/aftermarket friction materials and products in the United States and Canada. Basically, the scope of the report includes diverse segments such as light vehicles, medium and heavy-duty trucks, the automotive aftermarket, aircraft/aerospace, construction and other off-road equipment, and various industrial applications. These are analyzed in detail as well as technology developments, market conditions and opportunities and five-year forecasts. The role of new technologies is reviewed in this comprehensive report. This BCC study analyzes the current North America market in detail and identifies the most promising market opportunities for the next five years for both OE and aftermarket applications. Western European, Japanese markets and other global markets are covered as well.

In order to generate the information necessary to construct a reasonable future market for friction materials, it is necessary to undertake an examination of the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of materials. In particular, environmental concerns are very significant for some types of friction materials. This report covers two types of friction materials:


  • Dry friction materials, such as non-asbestos organic (NAO), semi-metallic, low metallic and asbestos friction materials.
  • Wet friction materials such as paper products.

In addition to various friction materials and products, it also covers the many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the , including corporate strategies, technologies, and the means for providing these products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the social, political, regulatory and economic issues that so many regard as critical to the industry's current state of change. The report provides a review of the friction materials and products industry and its structure, and the many companies involved in providing these materials and technologies. The competitive position of the main players in the market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution, and operations.

The values presented in the forecast tables represent the value of the friction products purchased by the OE manufacturers and other industrial companies. For materials, the values represent those paid by the friction product manufacturers. In this report, the term revenue is equivalent to, and is used interchangeably with the terms purchases, demand and sales. All growth rates mentioned in the tables and in the text are based on the average annual rate of growth from 2003 through the year 2008. The compounding method of calculating growth rates is used. In most cases, the actual quantity or volume (in pounds) is measured and the calculated growth rates are easy to comprehend. Because current dollar measures are used to measure revenues, these growth rates reflect the growth in volume or real growth, including the effects of price changes and changes in product/service mix.


The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. Initially, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on friction materials and products was conducted. These secondary sources included automotive and related journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports, and other publications. A patent search and analysis was also conducted.

In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, unit managers, design engineers, and other personnel at the friction materials and products companies. Other sources included academics, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials, and consulting companies. These were a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.


The author has over 20 years experience in competitive intelligence, industrial market research, planning, and marketing at major corporations, market research consultancies and think tanks. He has led, mentored and coached various multi-disciplinary teams providing a full range of economic, market analysis, survey and related advice and services. Advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed policies and developments in plastics, minerals and related markets. The author has employed scenario analysis to investigate and research the future of industry to identify the impact of globalization, consolidation, demographics, changing industry structure, and technological innovation. He holds a BA in sociology and an MA degree in managerial economics, and has completed doctoral studies in administration.

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