Advanced Structural Carbons: Fibers, Foams, and Composites

Published - May 2002| Analyst - Ravindra Deshpande| Code - AVM038A
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Report Highlights

  • A 7.4% average annual growth rate (AAGR) is forecast for the North American advanced structural carbons materials market over the next five years, resulting in a nearly $2.3 billion market in 2007.
  • The carbon fiber sector’s 8.9% AAGR will depend on the ability of manufacturers to reduce production costs and thus diversify into high-volume markets.
  • The relatively mature markets for structural graphite will grow at an AAGR of only 1.1%from $317 million in 2002 to $335 million in 2007.
  • Carbon-carbon composites grow at an AAGR of 8.3% and, by 2007, this industry’s largest market will approach the $1 billion milestone.
  • Carbon foams will grow from a small base of $19 million in 2002 at an industry-leading AAGR of 20.9%.



The goal of this study is to help the reader form a comprehensive understanding of the recent advances in structural carbon materials manufacturing, its commercial applications, and its worldwide markets. For the purposes of this report, these materials will include all types of carbon fibers, carbon foams, monolithic structural graphite, and carbon-reinforced carbon composites.

To attain the stated goal, several objectives will be met. The major types of structural carbon materials will be described, including key physical and chemical properties, raw materials, and manufacturing processes. Commercial applications in which these materials are used will be discussed. Present consumption and future demand for these materials will be evaluated for the North American and worldwide regions. Trends in technology will be analyzed and forecasted. The impact of governmental regulations will be ascertained. The structural dynamics of the structural carbons industry will be outlined along with profiles of key manufacturers in the North America and other parts of the world.


The structural carbon materials industry is at a crossroads. It serves mature industries, like defense and aerospace, with a wide variety of products satisfying the requirements of well-established applications. These sectors are heavily regulated. However, continuous technical innovation and attempts to make these technologies available to civil markets at affordable prices are leading to new application segments.

Corporations engaged in the structural carbons industry must understand the significance of these trends to effectively manage their enterprises and its resources. Stakeholders in these competitive technologies and products must understand the impact of these trends upon their operations. End users of structural carbons must consider the effects of these changes to select the most cost-effective options among newly available products and technologies prior to committing significant capital resources.


Over the next five years, significant changes will take place in global structural carbon products and applications. Consequently, the information presented in this study is very important to:

  • Members of the financial community who must understand, assess, and rate the effects of forthcoming changes in the structural carbons industry on the financial performance of the companies active in this market segment
  • Chief executive officers who must effectively manage the assets of their company so as to benefit from forthcoming changes in the structural carbons industry
  • Directors of planning who must incorporate anticipated changes in the structural carbons industry into corporate planning documents
  • Directors of manufacturing who must implement new structural carbons technology and products into their operations
  • Directors of engineering, research, and development who must incorporate the latest in structural carbons technology and products into their designs and projects
  • Decision makers directed at major structural carbons consumers, such as the companies involved in aerospace and aircraft manufacturing, as well as defense contractors
  • Executives at companies engaged in developing competitive materials and technologies, such as other reinforcement fibers (Kevlar) or composites manufactured with other matrix materials (ceramics or metal)


This report covers the technological, economic, and considerations of the structural carbons industry. Although primarily a study of the U.S. markets, analyses and forecasts are also provided for global markets. Included in this report are descriptions of market forces relevant to the structural carbons industry and their areas of application.

The North American markets are presented by type of structural carbons along with growth forecasts through 2007. The driving forces in the industry and the structure of the industry are also examined. International aspects of the structural carbons industry are discussed with respect to all the geographic regions and type of structural carbon material. Lastly, brief profiles of the major manufactures in the North American and global markets are presented.


Estimates of current market demand are made for 2002 and projected over the next five years. Projections are made in terms of constant U.S. dollars (2002). Growth is presented as average annual growth rates.

Market values were calculated by multiplying the number of pounds material sold by the average price per pound. Confirmation of the numbers so reached was obtained by contacting several representative manufacturers in the structural carbons industry and by analyzing published reports.


The information in this report was derived from interviews and communications with individuals in the industry, searches of online and print media, including electronic databases, conference proceedings, patent literature, trade journals, and newsletters. Company financial publications and news releases, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and their websites were also valuable sources of information.

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