A recent report from MarketsandMarkets entitled “Automotive Composite Market by Type (Polymer Matrix Composite, Metal Matrix Composite, and Ceramic Matrix Composite) and by Application (Interior Components, Exterior Components, Chassis & Powertrain Components and Others) - Global Trends & Forecast to 2019” defines and segments the global automotivecomposite market with an analysis and forecast of its global volume and value. The Asia-Pacific region was the world’s largest market for automotive composites in 2013. China is the key consumer of automotive composites in Asia-Pacific. The need for lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles shifted manufacturers’ focus toward automotive composites. Various product launches, partnerships, agreements and expansions have in turn made the region a potential growth market for automotive composites.
Carbon fiber is a material made up of carbon atoms that are aligned parallel to the main axis of the fiber. The fibers are very thin in diameter, about 1/10th the size of a human hair. The crystal alignment makes the fiber very strong for its size. Normally, carbon fibers are molded with other materials, such as plastic resin and graphite, to form carbon fiber composite. Carbon fiber composite is the fastest-growing automotive composite, driven by its high demand for use in chassis and powertrain components applications. The chassis and powertrain market for automotive composites has a wide scope for its expansion, which will help in increasing consumption for automotive composites. Exterior components are the biggest application of automotive composites and are projected to be worth $3,555.51 million by 2019.
Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), Owens Corning (U.S.), Johns Manville (U.S.), SGL Group (Germany), Cytec Industries Inc. (U.S.), Koninklijke Ten Cate nv (The Netherlands), Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd. (Japan), Jushi Group Co. Ltd. (China), and Teijin Limited (Japan) are some of the major manufacturers of automotive composites. Some of the drivers for the global automotive composite market include increasing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and the reduced weight and parts consolidation that are offered by automotive composites. Some of the restraints include the high cost of composites and concerns about recyclability. Certain opportunities, including emission regulations that are forcing OEMs’ attention toward composites, and growth in the high-volume production of structural automotive components, will likely change the dynamics of automotive composite industry in the years to come.