Trends to follow in the Composites industry in 2019
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In the world of composite materials, keeping up with market trends and technology is extremely important. When talking about composites and manufacturing innovations over the years, we see that the change in the industry is revolutionary.


1. Accelerated adoption of thermoplastic composites

Companies across a number of industries have shown an increased interest in thermoplastics in recent years, including companies such as BMW and Audi, as well as aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. As shown in a report by Mordor Intelligence, the thermoplastic composites industry was worth $17 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.24% until 2023. This trend can be perceived almost everywhere in the world, with the Asia-Pacific region dominating the market, followed by North America and Europe.


2. Broader application of carbon fibre-reinforced composites

The demand for carbon fibre-reinforced polymers (CFRP) is expected to grow at 12% by 2021 and reach around 132,000 tons of production. This trend follows the same growth pattern previously experienced by composites with other reinforcements. It’s likely that the pattern will continue. Among fibre types, the carbon fibre thermoplastic composites segment of the thermoplastic composites market is projected to grow at the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period. That’s in terms of both, value as well as volume.


3. Continued growth of glass fibre-reinforced composites for less demanding applications

When talking about composites, glass fibre is the most widely used reinforcement and will continue to be in future years. According to Statistics MRC, the global glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) composites market is expected to reach $80.57 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.5%. In addition, growing demand for GFRP composite pipes from emerging economies is one of the major opportunities during the forecast period. The construction sector will continue to be the heaviest user of GFRP, and new construction applications are replacing steel with GFRP because of the strength and lightweight characteristics.


4. Automotive as a CFRP growth leader

The automotive market has replaced many metal components with GFRP for many years now, but market forces have more recently created a business case for large-scale use of CFRP on stock automobiles. That only means that CFRP applications in the automotive industry will continue to emerge in 2019, with the CAGR expected to be at 10.6% by 2023, according to Market Research Future.


5. More 3D printing of composites

According to Forbes, 3D printing has been disrupting industry practices for the last decade. As the trend continues to rise, 3D printing of composites is predicted to take off in the coming years. 3D Printing Media forsees a huge revenue boost for 3D printed composites that’s expected to reach $10 billion by 2028, growing at a forecasted CAGR of 22.3%.


6. Implementation of continuous fibre-reinforced 3D printing

Continuous carbon fibre represents one of the key innovations recently in 3D printing of composites, as it allows industries to use those composites in various new ways. Many people thought that the technology needed for printing continuous carbon fibre would only become available in decades from now. Fortunately, the developments in 3D printing allowed for that to happen much sooner. And although chopped carbon fibre printing still dominates the market, there’s a growing number of devices with continuous fibre printing capabilities.


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