Press Releases

Technology Gains in Advanced Carbon Materials Market Driving Modest Growth

December 16, 2015

Wellesley, Mass., December 16, 2015 – Significant advances have been made in recent years in synthesizing novelty materials and designing complex shapes to serve stringent specifications imposed by high-end commercial applications like those for the aerospace and defense industry.  BCC Research reveals in its new report that this development will stimulate modest growth in the advanced structural carbon products market.

The structural carbon materials industry serves mature markets such as defense and aerospace, with a wide variety of products satisfying the requirements of well-established applications. However, continuous technical innovations and efforts to make structural carbon technologies available for new applications (at affordable prices) are leading to the development of new markets.

The U.S. market for advanced structural carbon materials should total over $2.4 billion and $3.3 billion in 2015 and 2020, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. The carbon foam segment is expected to grow the fastest (five-year CAGR of 9%), followed by carbon-carbon composites (6.3% CAGR), structural graphite (4.6% CAGR) and carbon fiber (4.4% CAGR).

The aerospace and defense segment is the largest U.S. market for structural carbon materials (chiefly carbon fibers and carbon-carbon composites). Industrial applications such as corrosion-resistant chemical process equipment and refractories comprise the second-largest market segment. Unlike aerospace and defense, structural graphite is the dominant structural carbon material in the industrial segment. Energy applications are the third-largest market for structural carbon materials. The energy market consists mainly of carbon fiber for wind turbine blades and graphite for use in fuel cells, nuclear power plants and hydrogen storage media.

In 2014, carbon fibers captured about 42% of the U.S. structural carbons market. These fibers include high-end materials used in advanced military and civilian aircraft, rocket launch vehicles and spacecraft. Carbon fibers were followed by carbon-carbon composites, with 39.1% of the market, and structural graphite, with an 18.3% market share. Carbon foams ranked a distant fourth, with less than 1% of the market. (Structural graphene was not yet on the market in 2014.)

“Over the next half-decade, significant change will take place in global structural carbon products and applications,” says BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams. “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.”

Advanced Structural Carbon Products: Fibers, Foams & Composites (AVM038F) examines advanced structural carbon products, including all types of carbon fibers, carbon foams, monolithic structural graphite, carbon-reinforced carbon composites, and certain graphene materials. Analyses of global market drivers and trends, with data from 2014, estimates for 2015, and projections of CAGRs through 2020 are provided.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at steven.cumming@bccresearch.com.

Advanced Structural Carbon Products: Fibers, Foams & Composites( AVM038F )
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