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Thermoplastic Composites Market Analysis and Forecast

Views: 29     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-04-14      Origin: Site

The global thermoplastic composites market size is expected to grow from USD 22.2 billion in 2020 to USD 31.8 billion in 2025, at a CAGR of 7.5%. The thermoplastic composites industry is growing due to its recyclability, rapid processing, ability to form and reshape, and survival at higher temperatures. However, demand for thermoplastic composites will decline in 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lifting restrictions on cross-border travel and recovery of end industries will stimulate demand for thermoplastic composites during the forecast period

Impact of Coronavirus on the Global Thermoplastic Composites Market

The coronavirus has negatively impacted the demand for thermoplastic composites in various end-end industries including aerospace and defense, transportation, wind energy, construction, consumer products, and electronics. Supply chain disruptions resulting in delayed or non-arrival raw materials, disrupted capital flows, and increased absenteeism among production line workers have forced raw material equipment manufacturers to operate at zero or partial capacity, resulting in reduced demand for thermoplastic composites.

Increased demand from transportation industry drives composites demand

Thermoplastic composites are used in the manufacture of various automotive components, railroad coaches and heavy-duty vehicles. These materials are lightweight, helping to reduce the weight of vehicles, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions, improving vehicle fuel efficiency, and helping automakers meet CAFÉ emissions standards (54.5 mpg by 2025) and other fuel standards mandated by environmental agencies. One of the drivers behind this trend is the increased use of thermoplastic composites in racing and high-performance vehicle components such as dashboards, front-end modules, door modules, roof components, exterior-grade components, and under-hood components. The demand for thermoplastic composites in the railway sector is also growing. High-speed rail uses these materials for interior and exterior applications of railcars to reduce weight.

High cost of raw materials

Thermoplastic resins used to produce thermoplastic composites are more expensive than thermoset resins. Raw materials make up a significant portion of the total cost of these composites. The raw material, processing and manufacturing costs of thermoplastic composites are high, resulting in high end product prices. This high cost is a major limiting factor for OEMs in the supply chain to use thermoplastic composites. In addition, the machinery and tools required to produce thermoplastic composites are capital intensive, resulting in high product costs. Thermoplastic composites have many applications in various fields. However, they are not currently commercially viable. The use of thermoplastic composites in many applications will be feasible if the cost of thermoplastic resins and production costs are reduced.

Growing Electric Vehicle Market

Electric vehicles (EVs) are environmentally friendly and help reduce carbon emissions from the transportation industry. The demand for hybrid and electric vehicles is expected to witness high growth in the coming years. Thermoplastic composites have excellent strength and play an important role in reducing vehicle weight. This makes them very useful in the production of electric vehicle components. Therefore, the increased demand for electric vehicles is increasing the consumption of thermoplastic composites. Many companies are currently engaged in the development of components made from thermoplastic composites. For example, UNITI SWEDEN AB (Sweden) and KW Special Projects will use digital twin technology and carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites to redefine automotive design and production.

Develop low-cost production technologies

Thermoplastic composites have many applications. However, the use of these composites in many applications is not commercially viable due to their high cost. The production of low-cost thermoplastic composites can increase their consumption in different end-use applications. The development of low-cost technologies is a top priority for all research institutes and thermoplastic manufacturers. However, investment in research and development to develop new technologies for producing thermoplastic composites is a major challenge for market players. Still, companies are investing heavily in R&D to reduce the overall cost of thermoplastic composites and the end product manufactured. Several companies are offering thermoplastic composites made from recycled thermoplastics. Celanese Corporation (USA), for example, offers ECOMID polyamide compounds, which are made from recycled PA66 compounds. This product range provides economical solutions for the automotive, consumer goods and construction industries.

Glass fiber thermoplastic composites will hold the largest market share

Glass fibers dominate the global thermoplastic composites industry in terms of volume and value. Glass fibers are in high demand because of their low cost and ability to process with different resins. Glass fibers are mainly used in industries such as wind energy, consumer goods and electronics, as well as construction and transportation. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the aforementioned industries will see a decline in demand for thermoplastic composites, such as lower aircraft deliveries and lower sales of automobiles and electronics. Demand for thermoplastic composites will gain momentum as end-use industries recover.

SFT process dominates thermoplastic composites market

In terms of value and volume, SFT composites are the most commonly used type of thermoplastic composites in consumer goods, electronics and transportation applications due to their low cost. Transportation and Aerospace & Defense are major consumers of LFT and CFT composites. The value of the LFT segment is expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Supply chains across all industries have been disrupted due to the pandemic, resulting in a drop in demand across all product types. During the forecast period, demand will recover as the supply chain recovers.

The transportation terminal industry is expected to hold the largest share of the thermoplastic composites market

Transportation is the largest consumer of thermoplastic composites due to high demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Automakers and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers are exploring the use of thermoplastic composites in a variety of transportation applications because of its light weight, high strength, and ease of retrofitting and remodeling. In addition, thermoplastic composites enable automakers to meet stringent environmental regulations. For the past two years, automakers and suppliers around the world have struggled to keep production going after manufacturing plants in most countries closed. Automakers also have to contend with declining demand for thermoplastic composites in markets such as the U.S., China and Japan since 2020 as the production crisis unfolds. However, the sentiment of people travelling in private cars for safety reasons will drive the demand for thermoplastic composites in automotive sales.

Asia Pacific holds largest market share in thermoplastic composites market

Asia Pacific is the world's largest thermoplastic composites market and is expected to witness the highest CAGR from 2020 to 2025. High local demand for thermoplastic composites in transportation, aerospace and defense, and consumer and electronic applications has propelled the Asia-Pacific region to take the top spot in the thermoplastic composites market. Major thermoplastic composite manufacturers such as Toray Industries (Japan) continue to operate despite the unfavorable circumstances of the Covid-19 regulations due to the pandemic. Furthermore, the demand for thermoplastic composites in the region will rise after 2020 with the recovery of various industries and the high-performance properties of thermoplastic composites.

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