Composites: Resins, Fillers, Reinforcements, Natural Fibers & Nanocomposites
The U.S. market for composites increased from 2.7 billion pounds in 2006 to an estimated 2.8 billion pounds in 2007. It should reach over 3.3 billion by 2012, a compound annual growth rate of 3.3%.
Construction/Infrastructure and automotive products are the key applications since they comprise about 60% of total volume, followed by marine, electronic components and consumer products.
The largest growth will be experienced by the low volume aerospace market led by the introduction of composite commercial aircraft exterior parts such as fuselages and wings.
The emergence of several new technologies warrants a reappraisal of the reinforced plastics market. Nanocomposites and long fiber reinforced thermoplastics are the two most prominent and potentially commercially important examples that have begun to impact this market.
In addition, a review of reinforced plastics is needed with a view towards appropriately segmenting the major components of this market into its resin, technology and applications components. Fillers and reinforcements need to be carefully defined as to their principal functions and effects on properties of substrate resins since many terms and market estimates used within this industry are not clear-cut.
SCOPE OF STUDY
This report contains:
- Descriptions of various types of fiber-reinforced plastics/composites, and current and potential applications for each
- The current market status of the fiber-reinforced plastics/composite market and forecasts for growth over the next 5 years
- Technological issues, including the latest developments
- Discussions of international markets, including China, as well as environmental and recycling issues
- Profiles of prominent companies in the fiber reinforced plastics/composite business including Azdel, Bayer Material Science and DuPont Engineering Resins
A comprehensive review and analysis was undertaken of literature related to this industry which is known by several names, e.g., reinforced plastics, composites, etc. This analysis included resins, applications, markets, technology, producers and suppliers, trade named products, new developments, environmental issues, etc. Follow-up calls were made to key contacts within the industry to clarify and/or expand on critical issues pertinent to the reinforced plastics/composites industry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Research analyst Mel Schlechter has over 40 years in the chemical industry, and specializes in plastics market research. He has been with BCC Research for over 10 years and holds a B.S. in chemistry, M.S. in organic chemistry and a M.B.A. in marketing.
The fiber-reinforced plastic market is estimated at almost 2.3 billion pounds in 2002 and, rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 3%, is expected to reach 2.64 billion pounds by 2007.
Automotive applications account for 719 million pounds and are expected to rise at an AAGR of 2.5% to 814 million pounds by 2007.
Construction applications will rise at an AAGR of 2.7% to 688 million pounds by 2007.
Marine and electronic components applications, rising at AAGRs of 3.5% and 4.5% respectively, are the fastest growing.
Thermosets accounted for about 62% of total volume in 2002 and will maintain that position over the next five years.
Nanocomposites are in the very early stages of development and, with regard to fiber-reinforced plastics, initially will make an impact in the automotive market.