The market for carbon felt and graphite felt is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% globally during the forecast period. The major factor driving the market studied is the improved performance of carbon fiber in high-temperature applications. On the flip side, the high cost associated with carbon felt manufacturing is expected to hinder the market growth.
- PAN-based carbon and graphite felts are used as electrode backings in various battery designs, including vanadium redox flow batteries (VRB). The high conductivity, high purity, and chemical resistance of felts make them ideal for the demanding design criteria of flow battery developers.
- Asia-Pacific region dominated the market across the globe with the largest consumption from countries such as India and China.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand from Heat Insulation Segment
- Several industrial activities, like heating fluids, vacuum distillation, or manufacturing of gases, such as ethylene, vinyl chloride monomer, and synthetic gas, have employed process furnaces. Other than these, steel manufacturing is the major industry where a furnace is used.
- Over the past few years, the market for furnaces has experienced lots of changes, primarily driven by energy efficiency and cost reductions. For this purpose, carbon and graphite felts are being applied. The furnaces’ inner chamber is lined up of carbon or graphite felt, to insulate it, thereby saving a lot of capital expenditure in temperature maintenance and energy efficiency.
- The carbon and graphite felts are used in high-temperature refractory insulations because of their flexible properties. These felts are majorly used in vacuum and protected atmospheric environments going up to approximately 30,000° C in temperature.
- Carbon and graphite felt are easy to cut and install; they have low density and thermal mass and have low ash and sulfur content, making them a good insulation material for heat insulation purposes.
- PAN type of felt has higher strength and is not soft. Thus, the demand for PAN type of Carbon and Graphite felt is much higher in heat insulation segments.
Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
- Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market for carbon felt and graphite felt market, during the forecast period. In countries like China, India, and Japan because of growing demand from batteries, heat insulation, and the demand for carbon felt and graphite felt increased.
- This can be attributed to the fact that the region is observing increasing production of steel, along with the increasing manufacturing of semiconductors. The demand for carbon felt and graphite felt has been on the rise in the region lately.
- China has one of the largest markets for the semiconductor industry and registered a growth of 19.4% in 2016 and almost 20.0% in 2017. In 2018 China produces just 16% of the semiconductors that they use, but it has plans to produce 40% of all semiconductors it uses by 2020 and 70% by 2025.
- According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM), the Indian electronics industry is estimated to have reached USD 112-130 billion at the end of 2018 due to the expansion of the electronics-manufacturing base in the country. These industries are expected to witness further growth during the forecast period, which is expected to augment the market for carbon and graphite felt.
The carbon felt and graphite felt market is fragmented in nature with the presence of a large number of companies eyeing for a share in the market. The major companies are SGL Carbon, Toray Industries Inc., Kureha Corporation, Nippon Carbon Co. Ltd, and Beijing Great Wall Co. Ltd.
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