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A new report published by SRI Consulting states that in spite of erratic economic growth, worldwide carbon fibre consumption increased, on average, 5.8 percent annually between 1997 and 2002.
Preliminary estimates for 2003 indicate that production and consumption increased by nearly 5 percent over 2002 levels. At this rate of consumption, says the report, segments of the industry will have insufficient capacity to meet demand in 2004.
The report further claims that the U.S. consumed only 30 percent of the world supply, with Asian use up, at 29 percent, followed by Western Europe at 27 percent. The remaining 14 percent is used by a variety of end users in other countries. According to SRI’s Fred Hajduk, demand for carbon fibre should increase at 7 to 8 percent annually over the next five years, with greater-than-average growth in Western Europe and Asian countries, particularly China.
Hajduk also describes the shift in end-use demand for carbon over the past decade, with industrial applications now leading, followed by sporting goods, with aerospace trailing.
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