A composite is defined as a multiphase material that exhibits a significant proportion of properties of both constituent phases. It usually consists of a continuous phase, called the matrix, and a dispersed phase called the reinforcement. Polymer matrix composite is polymer-based reinforced material that is used in various end-use industries such as construction, transportation, oil & gas, sports, energy, aerospace, consumer goods, and electrical & electronics. The automotive industry is a prominent end-use industry for polymer matrix composites. Various resins such as polypropylene, polycarbonates, polyamides, acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene, and other engineered plastics are employed, along with reinforcing fibers, to manufacture automotive polymer matrix composite. The global automotive polymer matrix composites can be segmented into fiber used and application areas in the automotive industry.
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The most commonly used fibers for automotive application are carbon fiber and glass fiber. The carbon fiber reinforcement possesses diverse mechanical and physical characteristics such as a high strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance. These properties allow it to be utilized to make lightweight and strong components. However, glass reinforcement is majorly produced due to its relatively low cost and competitive physical and mechanical characteristics. Nevertheless, high strength to weight ratio of carbon fibre reinforced composites is predicted to offer enormous growth opportunities during the next few years.
Composites offer many structural and weight advantages over traditional steel and injection molded automotive parts such as cost and weight reduction and recyclability. Polymer matrix composites are generally employed in the manufacturing of interiors, exteriors, and structural parts. The exterior segment accounts for significant share of the automotive polymer matrix composites market. The carbon fiber reinforced composites is anticipated to be highly attractive segment by the end of the forecast period due to rising demand for high performance lightweight materials in the automotive industry.
The passenger cars segment is anticipated to drive the expansion of the global automotive industry due to a rise in disposable income. However, increasing environmental concerns and pollution are estimated to be a slight hindrance during the forecast period. Automotive manufacturers are focusing on reducing their weight to provide highly efficient cars and reduced fuel consumption. Therefore, OEMs are substituting traditional materials with advanced engineered composites such as polymer matrix composites. Furthermore, polymer matrix composites offer high stiffness, tensile strength, and temperature tolerance, and low weight and thermal expansion. Thus, they are preferred in the manufacture of automobiles.
This is estimated to boost the demand for automotive polymer matrix composites during the forecast period. Additionally, polymer-reinforced composites offer excellent crash performance as compared to traditional steel. Therefore, along with weight reduction, composites in vehicles offer better safety components. These properties are predicted to augment the demand for automotive polymer matrix composites in the near future. However, the high cost of carbon composites might slightly hinder the expansion of the automotive composites market in the near future.
In terms of geography, the global automotive polymer matrix composites market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The automotive polymer matrix composites market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand during the forecast period due to rapid expansion of the automotive industry in countries such as China, India, and Japan. Thus, Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the global market during the forecast period. North America and Europe follow Asia Pacific in the automotive polymer matrix composites in terms of market share.
Nonetheless, North America is anticipated to offer high growth opportunities for the carbon reinforced automotive polymer composites market. The automotive polymer matrix composites market in Latin America is likely to expand at a significant rate during the forecast period, due to the considerable expansion of the automotive industry in the region. Middle East & Africa is also anticipated to expand in the automotive polymer matrix composites market.
The global automotive polymer matrix composites market is slightly consolidated, with U.S. and China being prominent manufacturers of composites. However, there are several manufacturers around the world. Key players operating in the automotive polymer matrix composites market include Hexcel Corporation, TPI Composites, Inc., Owens Corning, Teijin Limited, Toray Industries, and Hexagon Composites
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