The global carbon fiber market size is estimated to be USD 3.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 8.9 billion by 2031, at a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period. The demand for clean fuels such as CNG and hydrogen is increasing globally, resulting in increase in demand for carbon fibers in CNG and hydrogen tanks manufacturing. Also, the growth in number of on-shore and off-shore wind capacity installations is driving the growth of carbon fibers in wind energy industry.
This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for lightweight and high strength materials such as carbon fiber as it results in fuel efficiency and safety in the aerospace & defense and automotive industries. The rising number of collaborations between the industries such as aerospace & defense and automotive and carbon fiber manufacturers for new projects is driving the market. For instance, in October 2020, Teijin Limited signed an agreement with Safran S.A., an international high-technology group and tier-1 supplier of systems and equipment in the aerospace & defense market. Such agreements by leading carbon fiber producers would drive the growth of carbon fibers in the aerospace industry.
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New applications such as 3D-printing, electrodes for batteries of electric vehicles, and medical composites offer major opportunities for the market growth. The stringent eco-friendly regulations emphasizing of lightweight and fuel efficient materials, is driving the growth of carbon fibers in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. Leading 3D-printing companies such as Staratsys and 3D Systems use carbon fiber-based composites to manufacture structural parts.
Europe is estimated to have the largest share of the market. Europe led the carbon fiber market due to the presence of established automotive, aerospace & defense, and wind energy industries in the region. The region is home to some of the prominent automotive manufacturers such as BMW, Fiat, and Bentley. These automotive manufacturers use carbon fiber composites in various structural automotive parts such as bonnets, bumpers, and frontends. Additionally, aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing use carbon fiber composites in structural parts as they offer rigidity and high tensile strength. Moreover, there are many offshore wind energy installations.
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Companies operating in the carbon fiber market have strengthened their position by adopting expansions and new product/technology launches from 2015-2020. Expansions, joint ventures, acquisitions, and new product launches were among the key growth strategies adopted by the market players between January 2015 and November 2020. Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan), Teijin Ltd. (Japan), Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (Japan), Hexcel Corporation (US), SGL (Germany), Solvay (Belgium), and Formosa (Taiwan), and Hyosung Corporation (South Korea) are some of the key players in the carbon fiber market.
In April 2021, Hyosung Advanced Materials signed a contract with Hanhwa Solutions. The company announced that it signed a long-term contract to supply reinforced carbon fiber to be used for strengthening fuel tanks in hydrogen vehicles for six years beginning 2021. The total supply is worth about 160 billion won. This agreement will boost the sales of carbon fiber.
In November 2020, SGL Carbon and Koller Kunststofftechnik partnered to manufacture novel carbon fiber profiles for use in windshields for a future high-volume model of BMW Group. This helped SGL Carbon to improve their application in automobile applications and increase the carbon fiber demand.
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