New Articles

Growing Demand for Lightweight Wind Blades to Augment Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market through 2027


Growing Demand for Lightweight Wind Blades to Augment Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market through 2027

The global carbon fiber prepreg industry is slated to record rapid growth from rising demand for greater durability, fuel efficiency, and low-weight components from the aerospace and automotive sectors. Carbon fiber prepreg is a reinforced fabric made from pre-impregnated and cured polymer matrix.

The material offers a high stiffness to weight ratio and superior resistance against chemicals and fatigue. Owing to these advantages, prepreg carbon fibers find a broad range of applications across a plethora of industrial avenues.

The incorporation of carbon fiber prepreg in automobiles drastically reduces the overall vehicle weight without compromising on strength. This leads to higher fuel efficiency and performance improvement in vehicles. Stringent carbon emission norms and growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles are encouraging motor vehicle manufacturers to incorporate more of these carbon materials in their product portfolios.


Moreover, with growing automotive production, the demand for carbon fiber prepreg is likely to go up to a large extent. As per the International Organization for Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, nearly 77.62 million commercial vehicles and cars were produced in 2020.

According to the latest industry report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the global carbon fiber prepreg market size is anticipated to grow considerably by 2027.

Carbon fiber prepreg materials are seeing a very promising application scope in the aerospace industry. Various aircraft manufacturers are increasingly refurbishing aircraft with these reinforced carbon fibers in a view to minimize aircrafts’ weight, enhance gasoline mileage, and provide affordable & safe air transportation services to the customers.

Carbon fiber prepreg also boasts of many other applications, including sporting goods, racing vehicles, pressure vessels, and commercial products. There has been an increasing demand for light-weight high-strength materials, particularly in racing vehicles, including bikes and cars, to make them lighter and hence, amplify their velocity and stability on the racetracks. Meanwhile, various sporting goods manufacturers are emphasizing on utilizing soft carbon fabrics to provide comfort to their customers, opening up additional avenues of business growth.

Carbon fiber prepreg industry share from wind power plants is expected to witness substantial momentum in the forthcoming years. This is owing to the growing utilization of pre-impregnated carbon fibers in wind blades. These materials offer high tensile and compressive strength due to which they are broadly adopted for the latest generations of wind turbines.

In addition, the material’s use provides a number of cost and performance benefits to the wind industry. According to Sandia National Laboratories, wind blades made from carbon fibers weigh 25% less than the ones made from fiberglass materials. This means that the carbon fiber wind turbine blades can be much longer than the ones made out of fiberglass. As a result, the wind turbines can effectively harness more energy across locations that were previously deemed as low wind areas.

Electricity generation through renewable sources is surging rapidly in developed countries. As per the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power is the second-largest source of electricity generation in the country, which accounted for a total installed capacity of 105.6 GW in 2019. With carbon fiber wind turbine blades pegged to become industry standard, the adoption of carbon fiber prepreg materials is expected to witness a  significant jump.

The North American carbon fiber prepreg industry is slated to hold a considerable share of the global market, particularly owing to growing demand from the automotive and aerospace industries. Leading OEMs in the country are focusing on employing lightweight materials in automobiles to enhance fuel efficiency and comply with stringent vehicles emission norms set by the government. Growing penetration of electric vehicles and rising preference for air travel are some of the more notable factors that would foster business growth in the country.

Park Aerospace Corp (previously Park Electrochemical Corporation), Hexcel Corporation, Toray Industries, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., Gurit Holdings AG, Axiom Materials, SGL Group, and Solvay SA are some prominent companies operating in global carbon fiber prepreg industry. These pre-impregnated carbon fiber manufacturers are eyeing focusing on leveraging novel technologies to produce highly efficient materials and cater to the larger consumer base.

Soaring adoption of lightweight, high-strength materials in numerous industries, to cater to the rising demand for efficiency, would outline the industry outlook. Additionally increasing environmental regulations to curb emission is also forecast to complement global carbon fiber prepreg industry trends.

carbon fiber industry

Demand for Lightweight Vehicles to Foster Automotive Applications of Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is well known for its exceptional properties, such as low thermal expansion, high-temperature tolerance, high chemical resistance, low weight to high strength ratio, high tensile strength, and high stiffness. These properties make them a highly popular material in many applications in civil engineering, sports equipment, military, motorsports, and others. Carbon fiber-based components witness robust demand from aerospace, automotive, wind energy, and other end-use industries.

In aerospace and automotive industries, there is a growing emphasis on utilizing lightweight, durable, flexible, materials, such as carbon fiber, to enhance the performance and efficiency of automobiles and aircraft and aid in achieving the emission standards set by various authorities. Owing to this, the materials are quickly replacing aluminum and steel. The global carbon fiber market size is forecast to witness notable growth over the coming years.

Demand in automotive and aerospace applications

The carbon fiber industry share from automotive applications is predicted to expand significantly in the upcoming years. In vehicles, carbon fibers, due to lightweight, high thermal stability and electrical conductivity, are used in various important components, such as disk brakes, wheels, automobile hoods, and others.

Soaring carbon fiber consumption is expected due to the increasing production of cars to cater to strong consumer demand. According to the International Organization for Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the global production of commercial vehicles and cars was combinedly around 91.78 million in 2019.

From aerospace applications, the carbon fiber industry share is slated to witness considerable growth by 2027. The superior physical strength, low coefficient of thermal expansion, high dimensional stability, and low abrasion characteristics of carbon fibers complement their applications in aerospace antennas, aircraft brakes, and support structures. Recent research and development in the manufacturing process of carbon fiber composites for aerospace applications are likely to boost its consumption in the sector.

For instance, researchers at the University of Sydney have recently developed an upgraded method for recycling carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, that retain 90% of their original strength and allow their re-utilization in modern commercial airframes.

Flourishing clean energy projects in North America

North America is slated to register a considerable share of the global carbon fiber industry by 2027. The booming wind energy sector in the region is generating strong demand for carbon fiber composites for their use in wind blades. The exceptional fatigue and corrosion resistance property of carbon composites enhance the longevity of wind blades.

Wind energy is one of the major sources of electricity generation in the United States. For instance, approximately 337.5 terawatt-hours of electricity were produced by wind power between January and December 2020, which is equal to nearly 8.42% of all generated electricity in the U.S. Growing adoption of clean energy technologies to reduce emission should positively impact carbon fiber market share across various sectors in the region.

Leading manufacturers of carbon fiber composites are Zoltek, Formosa Plastics Corp, Hexcel Corporation, Toho Tenax (Teijin), SGL Carbon SE, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., and Toray Industries. These prominent companies are focusing on R&D activities and leveraging advanced technologies to develop new procedures for carbon fiber manufacturing to reduce costs.

Carbon fibers are a multipurpose material, which has widespread applications across various sectors. Some of its other applications include the fabrication of carbon-fiber microelectrodes, textiles, and flexible heating.

Boeing to Source Fiber 777X Components from Japan

Tokyo, Japan – Japan’s Toray Industries has agreed to supply carbon fiber materials for Boeing’s new 777X jet and the Dreamliner in a 10-year deal worth more than $8.6 billion.

The deal calls for Toray to supply the material Boeing will use to build wings for the new jet, a large twin-engine passenger aircraft that’s set for delivery in 2020.

Boeing is building a plant in Washington state dedicated to making the 777X’s wings and Toray “has been selected for these main wings,” it said.

Last year, Toray said it would buy smaller U.S. rival Zoltek for about $584 million, on the back of rising demand for carbon fiber materials, which are lighter and stronger than steel and aluminium.

The news on Monday was partly in response to Boeing’s plan to ramp up production of the Dreamliner, Toray said.

Boeing has said it is planning to raise the number of 787 aircraft being produced every month from the current 10 planes to 12 per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.