Increasing adoption of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the production of lightweight aircrafts and fuel-efficient vehicles, to meet the stringent government regulations, is driving carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) market growth. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) market size is forecast to reach $22.50 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 9.41% during 2020-2025

The carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) market is growing at a significant rate as the manufacturers are constantly working on making aircrafts and vehicles lighter and fuel efficient by extensively using carbon fiber reinforced plastics. Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs), with their excellent specific tensile strength, modulus, and fatigue strength, have been widely used in airframe structural applications, especially for aircraft and automobile structures. These idiosyncratic attributes have carved an exclusive market for CFRP Materials spanning across several industry verticals. This is particularly due to requirements for lightweight and high-strength materials to reduce fuel consumption for economic and environmental reasons, while maintaining safety standards and durability. 

Recent advancements in carbon fiber reinforced plastics such as nanotechnology based electrospun carbon fibers is set to drive the adoption of carbon fiber reinforced plastic systems in various end use industries. Electrospun carbon nanofibers (ECNFs) are part of a technological revolution due to their operational simplicity and extraordinary properties, such as being lightweight, having a high surface area, and exhibiting good thermal and electrical conductivity. Weight reduction of structural components and consequent energy & fuel savings are achieved through nano-modification of CFRP. In addition, the productivity and competitiveness of CFRP products will be enhanced with the nano-modification and contribute to its broader range of applications. In addition, there is an increasing drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption which is further driving CFPR market growth. For instance, The European Commission (EC), according to the Paris Agreement, intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels in 2050.

Europe holds a major share of carbon fiber reinforced plastic market due to the increasing automobile, aerospace, wind power, and defense sector in the region. According to OICA, in 2018 the production of light commercial vehicles has increased by 2.5 % in Europe. According to International Trade Administration (ITA), the Norwegian Government presented a core defense spending budget of USD 6.9 billion in 2019. According to Wind Europe, Europe installed 15,638 MW of new wind power capacity during 2017, an increase of 25% compared to 2016 annual installations. 12,484 MW were onshore, and 3,154 MW were offshore. Also, according to Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), the EU aerospace sector is rising as the most high-tech sector in European Union. In 2018, the civil aeronautics sector continued its growth with revenue increasing by 3% to €126.7bn compared to €123bn in 2017. In addition, the increasing global demand for mobility and the replacement of older aircraft, which use more kerosene, with the latest low-noise, fuel-saving generation of aircraft, continue to be the major driver for the market growth. 

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Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) Market Growth Drivers:

  • Increasing Demand of CFRP From the Aerospace Industry:
There is an increasing demand of carbon fibre reinforced plastic from the aerospace sector to meet the higher performance expectations of reduced weight of aerospace. Aviation and space industries have widely adopted CFRPs as its composite materials for airframe structures, engine nacelles, fan casings, floorboards and interior parts. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2019 China was the world’s second largest civil aerospace and aviation services markets and one of the fastest growing markets. In 2016, according to Boeing, China is estimated to require around 6,810 new commercial aircraft, valued at USD 1 trillion, over the next two decades. According to International Trade Administration (ITA), in 2018 the Indian government spent a total of $645 in the civil aviation sector. Also, according to Boeing India is expected to drive the demand for 2,300 aircrafts worth US$320 billion over the next 20 years. In 2018, the U.K. civil aerospace turnover was approximately $44.6 billion, and the sector had almost a 17% global market share. And in 2017, Canada was the United States’ fourth largest foreign market for aerospace exports, valued at approximately US$9.2 billion, a ten percent increase over 2016. The increasing aerospace and aviation industry is supporting carbon fiber reinforced plastic market growth.

  • Nanotechnology based electrospun Carbon fibers to provide a new impetus to the existing market:
Due to the continuous demand for lightweight and strong composite materials, carbon fibers had become a commercially imperative reinforcement technique for generating high performance engineering composites, which are extremely preferable in automotive, aerospace, and sport industries With the universal attention moving towards nanomaterials, a new era is entitled for the introduction of a new technology for the production of carbon fibers at nanometer scale. The swiftly developing technique of electro spinning delivers a forthright way to manufacture continuous carbon fibers at nanoscale. This technology will eventually boost the production of carbon fibers market during the forecast period.

R&D Investment:
Germany has been at the forefront of the CFRP market with a number of associations being set up in this region to facilitate enhanced research into CFRP in order to improve technological capabilities. For instance, German Aerospace Center (DLR) set up its Center for Lightweight Production Technology (ZLP), where it now works with other partners to develop flexible production processes for CFRP using automated robotic systems. 
In July 2015, SGL group received funds of $1.10m from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the development of an innovative carbon fiber for thermoplastic applications

The Major Players in this Market Include
The major companies in the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) market include SGL Carbon SE, Teijin Ltd., Toray Industries Inc., Nippon Carbon Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., Farmosa Plastics Corporation, Cytec Industries Inc., DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV, Hexcel Corporation, Hyosung Advanced Materials, and others. In September 2019, Teijin Limited acquired Benet Automotive, a leading automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic. The acquisition benefits Teijin’s composite technologies business. In December 2019, SGL Carbon and Solvay entered into a joint development agreement to develop composite materials based on large-tow intermediate modulus carbon fiber for aerospace primary structures. In May 2020, Toray Industries, Inc. developed a high tensile modulus carbon fiber and thermoplastic pellets that are ideal for injection molding employing. Toray announced to push ahead with research and development to commercialize the fiber and pellets within the next three years. 

Over the years, automotive companies have mainly focused on making vehicles lightweight and fuel efficient and have been investing in developing various technologies to provide solutions for minimizing CO2 emission. The carbon fiber reinforced plastics reduce the weight of the vehicles and aircraft, which further increases, fuel efficiency of the vehicle and aerospace. The continuous developments in the carbon fiber reinforced plastic such as nanotechnology based electrospun carbon fibers is the major factor set to boost the carbon fiber reinforced plastic market during 2019-2025. 

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