Demand within the carbon fibre sector will hit 153,700 tons in 2020, climbing from 52,500 tons in 2012 - a massive increase of 193% in just eight years.
Carbon fibre is a new breed of high-strength material. In recent decades, carbon fibres have found wide applications in commercial aircraft (up to 50% of the structure as composites), along with recreational (about 50% penetration in golf and fishing pole as units) and industrial (low penetration with high growth) markets, as the price of carbon fibre has stabilised and technologies have matured.
Still a relatively immature market, the material has been able to penetrate a number of important sectors. Despite the economic turmoil that has transpired in recent years, growth has remained steady and this is partly due to the change in consumer and supplier preferences that have occurred as a result of the economic crisis.
After years of steady but unimpressive growth, the carbon fibre market is finally set for a boom in revenue, thanks to burgeoning demand from the wind energy market.
Wind energy - a vital segment of the rapidly expanding renewable energy market - will be the key driver of the carbon fibre industry. Currently, wind turbine blades constructed from Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) dominate the industry landscape, but due to their greater rigidity, lower weight and reduced cost, producers are making the move to carbon fibre alternatives.
Demand from the aerospace industry is also expected to demonstrate significant growth in the near future, although from a lower base figure. Thanks to the increased use of carbon fibre composites in aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, GBI Research anticipates aerospace industry demand for the material to climb at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 11.8% from 7,200 tons in 2012 to 19,700 tons in 2020.
Success in producing new, lower cost fibres and more efficient compositing techniques will enable the market to grow even faster, and for all sectors to benefit.
For more information on the carbon fibre market, see the latest research: Carbon Fibre Market
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