Carbon Fibre Industry Set For Huge Growth to Meet Expanding Applications

19 November 2006

The global carbon fibre industry is poised to enter a period of dynamic growth, driven by increasing usage of carbon fibre composites in key applications, according to a new report just published.

In aerospace (especially civil aircraft – the most important application), wind energy, offshore oil/gas, pressure vessels, defence and sports goods, carbon fibre composites offer proven benefits such as light weight, high strength, corrosion resistance, and the ability to design single piece parts where previously multiple components were necessary. These factors are pushing growth rates ever higher – carbon fibre composites are forecast to grow to a value of $13.6 billion by 2010, representing a huge increase of 37% over 2006.

As a result, demand for carbon fibre tow will grow by 7,000 tonnes during the 2006-2010 period, representing an increase of 26%. In order to meet this demand, the world’s carbon fibre manufacturers will invest over $800 million over the next three years, raising carbon fibre capacity by 78%. Currently, the industry produces 27,000 tonnes (60 million lb) of carbon fibre tow globally, with a value $1,300 million. Future capacity expansion should generate price reductions in real terms, stimulating opportunities for further in-roads into ‘less advanced’ applications currently dominated by metals and glass fibre reinforced plastics (GRP). This could create a second growth spurt for the industry, leading to even greater usage.

In 2006, worldwide carbon fibre consumption was geographically divided between Europe at 30%, North America at 35%, Japan at 15% and the rest of the world at 20%. The USA, Europe and Japan are the major consumers, but countries such as China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam are also driving the demand upwards.

These and many other facts and figures are given in “The Carbon Fibre Industry: Global Strategic Market Evaluation 2006-2010”, which has just been published by Materials Technology Publications.

Over 270 pages long and featuring over 200 tables and figures, the market report provides up-to-date and pertinent information on all aspects of the carbon fibre industry, spanning manufacture, processing, supply and end-use worldwide. Future scenarios for growth to 2010 are provided through comprehensive statistical data (in table and graph formats) and analysis of likely trends. In-depth profiles of all the major carbon fibre and carbon fibre composite producers worldwide are included, with details such as recent financial results, plant volume capacities and expansion plans.

The author of the report is Tony Roberts, a consultant with over 35 years of experience working directly in the carbon fibre industry around the world.

The report will provide invaluable insights for all those involved in the industry. It is aimed at companies manufacturing and/or supplying carbon fibre, carbon fibre intermediate products (such as prepregs, woven goods etc), carbon fibre composites and their end users, as well as consultants and others interested in this important and dynamic market. This newly-published report is now available through the NetComposites online store.

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