Carbon fiber consists of high-strength crystalline filaments of a few microns of carbon atoms. Thus CFRP is a high-strength composite material that is light in weight and subsequently useful in several industries including aerospace, defense, automobile, sports equipment and industrial applications. The CFRP market has witnessed positive growth due to its growing demand in industries such as aerospace and automotive. While aerospace is the largest end-user industry for the CFRP market, automotive is the rapidly growing industry. Europe and North America are the key markets for CFRP.
The carbon fiber reinforced plastics market can be segmented into two categories, by type: Thermosetting and thermoplastic. Further, these two types of reinforced plastics sub-segmented based on their resin type, thermosetting CFRP can be further segmented into: Epoxy resin, polyester resin and vinyl resin. Thermoplastics CFRP on the other hand, can be segmented into polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyurethane, polypropylene and others. Thermosetting CFRP is the largest product segment and accounts for over 75% of total sales. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and petroleum pitch; both collectively account for approximately 90% of the total raw materials used in manufacturing carbon fiber reinforced plastics.
For the year 2014, North America dominated global sales in the carbon fiber reinforced plastics market while, Europe witnessed the fastest growth rate among all regions.
The major European countries in the global carbon fiber reinforced plastics market are:
The largest carbon fiber reinforced plastics consumers in Asia Pacific include Japan, China, and Taiwan.