Carbon Fiber Market Outlook 2031
- The global carbon fiber market was valued at US$ 2.5 Bn in 2021
- It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2022 to 2031
- The global carbon fiber market is expected to reach value of US$ 4.5 Bn by the end of 2031
Overview of Global Carbon Fiber Market
Carbon fiber is a polymer and is sometimes known as graphite fiber. It is a very strong material that is also lightweight. Carbon fiber is five-times stronger than steel and twice as stiff. Carbon fiber possesses several advantages such as high stiffness, high tensile strength, high strength-to-weight ratio, high chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion, making it an ideal material to manufacture several parts. It is popularly utilized in specialized, high-performance products such as aircraft, racecars, and sporting equipment. Therefore, carbon fiber is favored by engineers and designers for manufacturing.
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Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) accounts for almost 90% of all carbon fiber production. The remaining 10% is composed of rayon or petroleum pitch. These substances are all organic carbon fiber reinforced polymer, which have lengthy chains of molecules joined by forged carbon atoms.
Rise in Demand for Lightweight Materials in Automotive and Aerospace Industries to Drive Market
The automotive industry has been constantly pushing toward enhancement of automobile features in order to cater to increasing mileage and emission requirements. Advanced carbon fiber materials are essential to boost the fuel economy of modern automobiles, while maintaining safety and performance. Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight carbon fiber materials can directly reduce the weight of a vehicle’s body and chassis by up to 50% and consequently, reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Carbon fiber has the highest strength and stiffness per density of any material, including metals. This makes it ideal for high-performance, track-focused vehicles where every pound shed can potentially increase acceleration and top speed.
Commercial airlines are progressively making greater use of carbon fiber composites to build aircraft bodies; for instance, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB are leading the way. Aerospace engineers design their dream planes with carbon fiber composite structural materials, as carbon fiber is stronger than steel, lighter than aluminum, and can be molded into virtually any shape. Carbon fiber sheets are poised to overtake metal as the preferred structural material for aircraft in the future when superior aerodynamics, lower fuel costs, and fewer component requirements are taken into account. Therefore, demand for advancements in automotive and aerospace industries is expected to drive the carbon fiber market.
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Increase in Demand for Carbon Fiber in Generation of Wind Energy
Wind turbines are being constructed or planned with increasingly large rotor diameters due to the growing demand for energy and better cost-efficiency (energy cost). Carbon fiber-based composites make an important contribution in wind turbines owing to their high strength and stiffness as well as low density. They can be used to produce sleek, aerodynamically efficient rotor blade structures with adequate stiffness in order to withstand extreme stresses.
Wind blades containing carbon fiber weigh 25% less than those made from traditional fiberglass material. That means carbon fiber blades could be longer than fiberglass ones and, therefore, capture more energy in locations with low wind. A switch to carbon fiber could also extend blade lifetime, as carbon fiber materials have a high fatigue resistance. Therefore, carbon fiber is expected to be of great importance for generation of wind energy.
High Strength and Stability Boost Demand for Polyacrylonitrile-based (PAN) Carbon Fiber
Based on product type, the global carbon fiber market has been segmented into PAN-based, pitch-based, and others. The pan-based carbon fiber product is expected to hold around 86.7% share of the market in 2021. It is projected to grow at a rate of 7% to hold 88.2% of market share by 2031.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) is mostly used as a precursor for carbon fiber due to its superior strength and stability, and higher carbon yield. About 90% of the carbon fiber produced is made from PAN and the remaining 10% is made from rayon or petroleum pitch. PAN precursors does not melt and can be dissolved in suitable solvents. It is comparatively less expensive and offers competitive mechanical properties as compared to pitch-based carbon fibers. PAN-based carbon fibers are extensively utilized in the manufacture of aircraft components and missile and space applications. Therefore, PAN is the dominant precursor for the production of carbon fiber.
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