Specialty Fibers: Technologies and Global Markets

Published - Dec 2007| Analyst - Calvin Swift| Code - AVM060A
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for specialty fibers increased from $5 billion in 2006 to an estimated $5.6 billion by the end of 2007. It should reach $9.2 billion by 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%.
  • Specialty fibers markets in the developed nations of North America, Western Europe and Japan account for 76% of the global total.
  • Aramid fibers are the most widely used specialty fibers (250 million pounds in 2007), followed by carbon fibers (81 million pounds in 2007).


The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the North American market for carbon, aramid, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, polybenzimidazole, and other specialty fibers used in aircraft and aerospace, sporting goods, automotive, and other industrial products as well as potential business opportunities in the future. The report's objectives include a thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the specialty fiber and materials business, 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 specialty fibers.

This technology/marketing report starts with an overview of specialty fiber types including a history of fiber development and the overall composites marketplace. The report then moves on to processing technology trends and secondary processing and fabrication methods before proceeding to a detailed assessment of markets and product applications. This assesses the market growth, materials, production, status of commercial development, barriers to entry, and market leaders. A comprehensive analysis of the industry structure is provided and ends with profiles of the leading specialty fiber companies.


This report contains:


  • Descriptions of various specialty fibers including carbon, aramid, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, polybenzimidazole and others used in aviation/aerospace, sporting goods, automotive and other industrial applications
  • The current market status of specialty fibers, trends and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
  • Discussion of technologies along with a thorough patent analysis
  • Analysis of the specialty fibers industry on a worldwide basis, both from a market and application perspective
  • Review of the underlying economic and regulatory issues driving the specialty fibers market.



The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. The research involved two stages, one involving secondary research and the other primary research.

Initially, a patent search and analysis was conducted. This strategy identified companies and market applications and was the initiating force in research direction. Next, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on carbon, aramid, and other specialty fibers was also 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.

In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, business unit managers, design engineers, and other personnel at the specialty fiber 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 advises and briefs management about economic and industry conditions, strategic developments, and the effects of proposed developments in the light vehicle industry as well as in plastics, metals, and other materials. 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. His particular interest lies in the interaction of strategy, economic and industry developments, and innovation. He holds a BA and a master's degree in industrial economics, and has completed other studies in business administration.

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