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Carbon Fiber and Beyond: The $26 Billion World of Advanced Composites

Composites are finding their way into new applications as industries - including aerospace, wind, oil and gas, automotive, and sporting goods - demand new materials with ever-higher strength-to-weight ratios, resistance to corrosion, and workability. However, so far, composites' high cost has precluded them from many mass-market applications. To assess the penetration of advanced composites into these target applications, we built a detailed model that projects the market sizes of these materials through 2020. All told, we expect the markets for these advanced composites to reach $25.8 billion in 2020 - and to constitute 139,000 metric tons carbon fiber, 1,099 metric tons MWNTs in our main scenario, and 601 metric tons GNPs - with wind overtaking aerospace as the main demand driver.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Landscape
    • Composites' Advantages over Metals Can Create a Myriad of Opportunities
    • Composites Manufacturing Consists of Several Raw Material and Processing Steps
      • The Matrix Is the Continuous Phase of the Composite and Provides Shape to the Structure
      • Reinforcements Provide Strength, Stiffness, and Other Properties
      • The Composite Value Chain Consists of Materials and Processing Steps
    • Industry Specific Dynamics both Spur and Slow Composite Adoption
      • Sporting Goods Provide an Ideal Market for Early Penetration, but Don't Boast High Volumes
      • Aerospace has Historically Been Eager to Adopt Novel Structural Materials
      • Wind Turbines Represent an Enormous Source of Demand for Advanced Composites
      • Oil and Gas Is a Slow-Moving Industry with Large Potential
      • Automotive Is the Elephant in the Room
    • Landscape Conclusions
  • Analysis
    • Advanced Composites to Reach $25.8 Billion in 2020
    • Carbon Fiber and Nanocomposites Follow Different Tunes
      • Among Advanced Composites, Carbon Fiber Plays a Dominant Role in Each Industry
      • MWNTs and GNPs Penetrate both Structural and Conductive Composites
      • In Total Volume, GNPs Find Their Comfort Zone in Conductive Composites to Best MWNTs
  • Outlook
  • About Lux Research
  • Endnotes
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