- Oct 30, 2018 -
As the material foundation of modern aerospace industry, carbon fiber is irreplaceable and widely used in the space fields such as missile weapon, space platform and launch vehicle. In large advanced aircraft, carbon fiber composites are widely used as main load bearing structural materials. Carbon fiber has also been used as a structural material in recently developed new airships. Therefore, there is a high demand for carbon fiber composites in areas with advanced aerospace industry.
The size of the carbon fiber composite market in North America is expected to remain strong by 2024. The mature aerospace industry has boosted the growth of the sector by increasing aircraft deliveries in the region. In the United States, established aerospace industry leaders will further cement the region's strengths.
Industry demand is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as research and development continues in the U.S. aerospace and defense sectors. With a large number of military aircraft manufacturing units, Europe will have an important share. In addition, the presence of the high-end auto industry in Italy and Germany will further enhance product penetration.
The asia-pacific region will grow more than 12 percent over the forecast period. A booming car industry across the region and high investment in aviation will drive growth in the region. India's military aviation sector, for example, is expected to invest about $35 billion over the next 20 years. Until 2024, those investments will provide a high-growth outlook for the size of the industry.
Let's look at some areas where carbon fiber composites are used
As a kind of lofty material, the application of carbon fiber composite material is also relatively high-end, including the fields of aerospace, navigation, rail transit, wind power, public infrastructure, medical and industrial equipment, sports and leisure products, as well as fashion and living appliances. Here are five of them.
1 aerospace and defense
The aerospace industry's carbon fiber composite market is expected to take the lion's share of the $19 billion market by 2024. Growth in the military and commercial aviation sector will mainly drive growth in the scale of the sector. High carbon fibre demand for commercial aircraft can be attributed to increased flight capacity, which has led to a rise in global air passenger traffic. This increase in passenger traffic will further consolidate the field's advantages over the next few years.
In 2016, cars accounted for more than 20 percent of prime share and more than 25,000 tons of demand. The use of carbon fiber composites in the automotive industry is mainly attributed to the efficient production of carbon fiber composites matrix materials and reduced prices. Carbon fibre composites could also be used in intermediate cars in the coming years as prices fall. Hybrid sports cars are keen on carbon fiber composites in their I series. About 24,000 i3 and 5,500 i8 were sold in 2015, further contributing to the sector's substantial growth.
The wind turbine composite material market is expected to reach $12.17 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.28 percent from 2016 to 2021.
Growing demand for carbon fibre used to make wind turbine blades and for renewable energy is driving growth in the market. However, problems related to the high cost of raw materials such as carbon fibers and epoxy resins and the recyclability of composites are factors holding back the growth of carbon fiber composites market.
4 sports & leisure
The high strength, high modulus and light quality of carbon fiber make sports products reach new performance level. The performance of golf clubs, tennis racquets, skis, skis, hockey sticks, fishing rods, baseball bats and bicycles are enhanced by carbon fibre reinforcement and the opportunity to further increase sports equipment is endless.
The use of carbon fibre in sporting goods is due not only to its lightweight and durable properties, but also to a great deal of freedom in designing extremely specific applications. Demand for carbon fiber composites in the field was 15,000 tons in 2016 and is expected to reach 21,000 tons by 2022.
Lower limb amputations are the largest in the United States, leading to increased use of carbon fiber composites for lower limb prosthetics. Patients are more concerned with lower limb prosthesis devices than upper limb prosthesis devices. About 65% of Amputee Collation's Amputee amputations are lower limb amputations. Prosthesis manufacturing companies are providing more carbon fiber composite products for lower limbs. ? Ssur, Ottobock, Hanger, The Ohio Willow Wood and Allard USA are a number of prosthetics manufacturing companies that provide lower limb prosthetics for carbon fiber composites. As a result, the use of carbon fiber composites for prosthetics is also growing in North America, boosting market revenue.
All kinds of prostheses can be provided for patients according to their personal functional requirements. The prosthetics need to be customized to fit the patient's body shape and designed with precise functional requirements and goals in mind. These include sports precision prosthetics specially designed for recreational sports and physical conditioning such as aerobics and running.
Ssur and Nike teamed up to design the ideal running shoe, and that combined? Ssur's unparalleled expertise in sports prosthetics with Nike's world-renowned traction and air cushion technology. By the? The ssur Cheetah Xtreme(see figure 3) is designed for fast short sprints, and carbon fiber sheets have a smoother curve than other Cheetah running shoes. This dynamic shape causes the feet to bend more, which provides a powerful sprinting energy. In the long run, these factors are expected to boost growth in the European market. In addition, growth in investment in prosthetics by some companies in the region is also expected to signal growth in the market. The company has been investing in research and development of carbon fiber composites for prosthetics to meet the growing demand of amputees in the region.
The continuous market segmentation will also promote the differentiated development of CFRP composite technology, and more and better CFRP composite products will be manufactured to promote the green development of society and meet people's diversified living needs.
Finally, look at the carbon fiber recycling problem
Currently, the manufacturing process produces about 24,000 tons of carbon fiber waste every year. Frazer Barnes, general manager of ELG carbon fiber company, believes that with the expansion of the industry, carbon fiber waste will reach about 32,000 tons by 2021. Recycling carbon fibres, especially those impregnated with resin, is a major challenge. Most carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are made from a thermosetting matrix such as epoxy and cannot be melted or remelted after curing.
Using recycled carbon fibre reduces the environmental impact and only consumes about 10 per cent of the energy needed to produce the original fibre.
This energy conservation is important. According to life cycle analysis, a vehicle may need to travel 155,000 kilometers to offset the energy required for its production by using carbon fiber saved fuel. With recycled carbon fibre, the vehicle can travel less than 15,000 kilometres.
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