Advanced Structural Carbon Products: Fibers, Foams & Composites

Published - Jan 2009| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM038C
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. market for structural carbon materials was worth an estimated $1.8 billion in 2008. This should increase to $2.3 billion in 2013, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6%.
  • Structural carbon materials for the aerospace and defense segment generated an estimated $1.0 billion in 2008. This should increase to $1.4 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 6.4%.
  • The industrial applications segment is expected to generate revenues of $415.7 million in 2008. This should reach $523.3 million in 2013, for a CAGR of 4.7%.



The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of 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 this 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 United States and other major geographical markets. Trends in technology will be analyzed and forecasted. The impact of governmental regulations will be ascertained. The dynamics of the structural carbons industry will be outlined along with profiles of key manufacturers.


This study is an update of an earlier BCC report that was published in 2005. The structural carbon materials industry and markets have continued to develop in the 3 years since the previous edition was published.

The structural carbon materials industry serves mature industries such as defense and aerospace, with a wide variety of products satisfying the requirements of well-established applications. These sectors are heavily regulated. However, continuous technical innovations and attempts to make its 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 manage their enterprise and its resources effectively. 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 effect of these changes to select the most cost-effective option among newly available products and technologies prior to committing significant capital resources.


Over the next half-decade significant change will take place in global structural carbon products and applications. Technological advances in improving structure-property relationships of advanced carbon materials and breakthroughs in the manufacturing processes—resulting in lower costs—will lead to novel applications. This study analyzes the driving forces that will shape the structural carbons industry over next few years.

Consequently, the information presented in this study is very important to:

  • Members of the financial community who must understand, assess, and rate the effect of forthcoming changes in the structural carbons industry based upon 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 at major structural carbons consumers, such as the Department of Defense contractors involved in aerospace and aircraft manufacturing
  • Executives at companies engaged in developing competitive materials and technologies such as other reinforcement fibers like Kevlar or composites manufactured with other matrix materials such as ceramics or metal.


This report covers technological, economic, and business conditions in the structural carbons industry. Although this report is primarily a study of the U.S. market, analysis 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 U.S. market is presented by type of structural carbons along with growth forecasts through 2013. 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 manufacturers are presented.


The report's findings and conclusions are based on information gathered from a wide range of sources, including vendors, users, and engineering and consulting firms. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the projections contained in this report.

The base year for analysis and projection is 2007. With 2007 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2008 to 2013. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.


This report is an update of an earlier (2005) report prepared by Dr. Ravindra Deshpande. Dr. Deshpande has over 13 years of research and product development experience in the manufacturing industry. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering along with an MBA. Dr. Deshpande has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and is lead inventor on several patents.

The analyst responsible for updating the report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel, LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author of numerous other BCC studies, including studies in related fields such as Materials and Devices for High-Performance Sports Products (AVM053A), Advanced Materials and Technologies for Public Works Infrastructure Projects (AVM062A), Nanocomposites (NAN021C), Lightweight Materials in Transportation(AVM056A), and Advanced Materials and Devices for Renewable Energy Systems (EGY053A).

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Dec-2005| Analyst - Ravindra Deshpande| Code - AVM038B

Report Highlights


  • The market value of the top four types of advanced structural carbon materials is nearly $1.6 billion and is expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 6.6% to $2.2 billion in 2011.
  • The average price of carbon fiber will continue to erode due to a projected onslaught of low-end production. The market for carbon fibers is forecast to be $878 million in 2011.
  • Carbon foams will grow from a small base of $11 million in 2006 at an industry-leading average annual rate of 18.3%.
  • Structural graphite remains a relatively mature industry and its market will grow from $315 million in 2006 to only $348 million in 2011.
  • Carbon-carbon composites, primarily used in high-temperature applications that demand structural integrity, will grow at an AAGR of 8.5%.
Published - May-2002| Analyst - Ravindra Deshpande| Code - AVM038A

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%.


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