For years, the use of carbon fibers remained limited to certain high-end demanding applications. But successful efforts to lower the fiber processing time and to produce low priced carbon fiber, paved the way for carbon fibers to foray into several new end-use verticals. Driven by technological advancements, carbon fiber industry continues to attract the attention of existing as well as new areas including transportation, industrial, and recreational markets. Consumer confidence towards high performance materials and immediate requirement for such materials are some of the other factors fueling demand for carbon-based structural products.
The US represents the largest Carbon fibers market, as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. The use of carbon fibers continues to rise in aerospace and defense sectors primarily because of its low-weight and high strength characteristics. The commercial aircraft programs including the super-large aircraft programs from Boeing and Airbus are expected to propel the demand for carbon fibers noticeably in the near term.
Carbon fibers market is also recording rapid growth in non-aerospace applications such as sports goods as well as civil engineering. Further, carbon fiber is emerging as a substitute for steel in automotives due to highly advantageous material properties such as exceptional strength and appreciably low-weight. Eyeing the latent potential of carbon fibers in automotive sector, the US Department of Energy proposed FreedomCAR program to develop innovative low-end carbon fiber materials.
The mechanical properties of carbon fiber make it ideal for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) applications, including video display oscillators, and Microscopic Pendulums. Research programs are underway in the US to explore the scope and extent of carbon fiber use in the MEMS applications. Upon proving the feasibility, MEMS could well be the next big thing for carbon fiber.
Key players dominating the global carbon fibers market include Cytec Industries, Inc., Hexcel Corp., Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd., Grafil, Inc., SGL Carbon Group, Teijin Ltd., Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., Toho Tenax America, Inc., Toray Industries, Inc., Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc., Zoltek Companies, Inc.
The report titled "Carbon Fibers: A Global Strategic Business Report" published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of world market trends and drivers, market sizing data, competitive structure analysis, industry issues and challenges. The study presents extensive commentary on the carbon fibers industry, product overview, product innovations/introductions, recent industry activity, and key player profiles. The study offers market data analytics in volume terms for major regional markets such as United States, Japan, Europe and Rest of World. Key end-use segments analyzed include Aerospace and Defense, Sports Goods, and Industrial Applications.