The Argentina Automotive Carbon Fiber Composites Market is projected to grow with a CAGR of more than 7% during the forecast period.
- Presently, composite materials, like thermoplastics and reinforced glass, have drawn the attention of carmakers, making them focus on sourcing better, tensile, and lighter components in the manufacture of automobile units.
- Factors such as increasing demand for lightweight material from the automotive industry and growing focus on fuel economy are expected to be major drivers for the market. However, high costs associated with carbon fiber composites, and glass fiber composites is hindering the growth of the market, as their usage in low-cost vehicles could drastically increase the prices of such vehicles.
- The low recyclability of composites is also a restraint for their penetration in entry-level passenger vehicles. However, collaborations of the OEMs with suppliers (due to rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, growing lightweight electrical vehicle segment, and major automobile giants, like BMW and Nissan, trying to replace their existing metal parts with composite fibers) imply the scope and booming opportunity that the market is anticipated to offer over the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand for Lightweight Materials
The automotive industry has been focusing on vehicle weight for decades as vehicle weight have direct impact on driving dynamics and fuel consumption. Due to the high cost of potential lightweight solutions and consumers’ limited willingness to pay for weight reduction in automotive, the use of costly lightweight materials has so far been limited.
As governments from around the world are implementing stringent emission regulations and even are planning to set even higher emissions standards in the coming years, the importance of lightweight materials will increase.
In a typical automobile, the use of fibers is 50% by volume, while adding just 10% to the weight. In the United States, regulations mandate that by 2025, the average fuel economy standard must meet 54.5 miles per gallon.
As per the US Department of Energy (DOE), reducing the weight of vehicles by 10% yields an increase of 6-8% in fuel economy.
As a result, companies have started using materials like carbon fiber and glass fiber composites to make vehicles lightweight and fuel-efficient.
The usage of glass fiber composites aids in reducing vehicle by 25%.
Apart from carbon fiber, automobile manufacturers have been using glass fiber composites in the manufacturing of numerous automotive components.
For instance, 2017 Mini Countryman features an interior panel carrier, uses high flow concentrate long glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (LGFPP) material (STAMAX resin) from SABIC. The part is ~15% lighter in weight than if made from solid plastic.
With the demand for lightweight vehicles increasing rapidly in developing economies, the market for carbon fiber composites is projected to grow at a fast pace during the forecast period..
Transportation Sector to Drive the Market:
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standard forced manufacturers in the automobile industry to develop vehicle designs that incorporated high-performance light-weight materials. The weight of an automobile has a direct impact on driving dynamics, fuel consumption, and agility. A 10% reduction in vehicle weights results in approximately 5-7% rise in fuel savings
The rising focus on minimizing carbon emission and enhancement of fuel economy, primarily by reducing the weight of a vehicle, are driving the demand for thermoplastics composites.
Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTP) is one of the primary materials that can address the rising concerns regarding a vehicle’s weight. In combination with metals, CFRTP composites will be a part of a multi-material approach when designing the car of the future. These materials are developed and assembled with recyclability and sustainability in mind. In addition, the automotive industry standards will serve to align methods for characterizing the performance of CFRTP composites.
The automotive industry is undergoing a major transformation. As companies explore various options to address the future needs, collaboration has proven to be an effective way to discover the new growth avenues, will leveraging risk. The preferred approach is collaboration with strategic players throughout the value chain.
For instance, DuPont Transportation and Advanced Polymers choose to advance through collaborative networks, while actively participating in consortia, including IACMI (Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation) and AZL (Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production), where standardization is addressed, along with collaborative teams that are focusing on demonstrating the production methods of cost-effective CFRTP composites, especially for high-volume applications
In 2019, SABIC announced a new, cutting-edge technology for producing lightweight, cost-effective, and recyclable vehicle panels, primarily by using its UDMAX tape, a unidirectional, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite, at JEC World 2019. This innovative technology, which has designed to replace traditional panels made of metal and thermoset material for interior and exterior automotive applications, will soon be commercialized in the bulkhead of a light commercial vehicle (LCV).
The automotive carbon fiber market is a consolidated one. The top 10 players account for most of the market share. The major companies in the carbon fiber market include Hexcel Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites Inc., SGL Carbon SE, Teijin Limited, and Toray Industries Inc. Toray is expected to be the market leader since its acquisition of Zoltek in 2014.
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