The global Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market size is estimated to be USD 9.7 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 18.9 billion by 2027, projecting a CAGR of 14.2% between 2022 and 2027. The growth of this market is propelled by the growing demand, especially from the aerospace & defense, and automotive industries.
The superior properties of carbon fiber prepreg make them useful in various applications, thus replacing the use of other materials available in the market. The increasing demand for lightweight materials from the automotive industry propels the demand for carbon fiber prepreg. However, the high cost of carbon fiber and the processing cost of carbon fiber prepreg is hindering the market's growth. The market has many big players, along with multiple small players, which makes it competitive. The following section analyzes various drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges in the carbon fiber prepreg market.
In regions like North America and Europe, stringent regulations have been imposed on the automotive industry to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that adversely affect global climatic conditions. Carbon fiber prepreg is seen as the best substitute for heavy metals like aluminum and steel as it is lighter than traditional steel by about 50%–70%. The use of carbon fiber prepreg can result in 30% fuel efficiency as compared to steel. Apart from providing lightweight structures, carbon fiber prepreg also provides benefits such as excellent mechanical properties, low-temperature cures, and longer life.
Carbon fiber prepreg has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, which is an important factor in automobile manufacturing. Vehicles with reduced weight and higher strength have better mileage, which helps reduce fuel costs. Initially, carbon fiber was used only in high-end vehicles where material cost and manufacturing cycle times are less critical. However, with the launch of the i3 and i8 models by BMW in 2014, carbon fiber prepreg is being increasingly used for mass-volume car production. According to industry experts, the annual production volume of i3 is ramping up, which is estimated to be 30,000 units per year. In 2015, BMW started using carbon fiber implants in its 7-series sedan.
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North America and Europe are at the forefront of carbon fiber prepreg demand in the automotive industry. In the US, automakers have shifted their focus to making lightweight automotive components to increase fuel efficiency and meet the regulations of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). Current CAFE standards mandate a fleet average of 54.5 mpg (23.2 km/L) by 2025. This encourages the industry to move towards carbon fiber prepreg which is seen as a substitute for aluminum and steel in high-end cars.
Over the last few years, carbon fiber prepreg manufacturing companies are strengthening their position in the global carbon fiber prepreg market, The companies are acquiring various growth strategies such as new product developments, expansions, acquisitions, partnerships, agreements, joint ventures, and mergers & acquisitions.
The major manufacturers profiled in this report include Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. (Japan), Solvay (Belgium), Teijin Limited (Japan), Toray Industries Inc., (Japan), Hexcel Corporation (US), Gurit Holding AG (Switzerland), SGL Carbon (Germany), Park Aerospace Corp. (US), and Axiom Materials, Inc. (US), and among others.
Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, deals in the business of fibers and chemicals and provides water purification solutions. The company manages its business through five main business segments, which include chemicals, plastics, fiber, carbon fiber, composite materials, and aqua (water-related solutions). The carbon fiber and composite materials segment manages its carbon fiber prepreg business. Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. has four manufacturing sites in Japan and has acquired carbon fiber manufacturing companies in North America and Europe. The company has four manufacturing facilities in Japan and overseas services in the US, Hong Kong, China, and Germany. It also has a presence in other regions with sales representatives and distribution centers.
Solvay is one of the leading players in the plastic and chemical business worldwide. The company is primarily engaged in developing, manufacturing, and selling products for agro, feed & food, automotive & aerospace, building & construction, customer goods & healthcare, electrical & electronics, energy & environment, and industrial applications. Cytec Industries, which was acquired by Solvay, included its former aerospace materials and industrial materials activities in the Materials segment and its process separation and additive technologies activities in the chemicals segment of Solvay. The company has four major segments, which are Solutions, Chemicals, Materials, and Corporate & Business Services. This acquisition of Cytec Industries is expected to boost Solvay's growth by making it one of the world's largest producers of carbon fiber prepreg material for the market. Solvay provides its carbon fiber prepreg products through the Aerospace Materials and Industrial Materials segments of Cytec Industries. The Aerospace Materials segment provides aerospace-qualified prepreg, resin infusion systems, structural/surfacing adhesive films, and high-performance standard modulus carbon fibers.
Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market by resin type (Epoxy, Phenolic, Thermoplastic), Manufacturing Process (Hot Melt, Solvent Dip), End-use Industry (Aerospace & Defense, Wind Energy, Sports & Leisure, Automotive) - Global Trends and Forecasts to 2024
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