Restoration in the supply chain and recovery of the end-use industries to drive the composites marketpost-COVID-19 pandemic
The global composites market size was USD 74.0 billion in 2020and is expected to reach USD 112.8 billion by 2025, projecting a CAGR of 8.8% between 2020 and 2025.Composites are increasingly used in the automotive & transportation wind energy, construction & infrastructure, and aerospace & defense end-use industries due to light weight, high strength, corrosion resistance, and other properties. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created ripples across various composites end-use industries leading to reduced demand for composites. For instance, Airbus has temporarily halted the production of A320 and A350 models in Tianjin, China, from early February. Due to the lockdown scenario in Europe and North America, the demand for composites from automotive, aerospace and wind energy industries have declined sharply in the first half of 2020.
The aerospace & defense end-use industry is the largest consumer of composites in terms of value.Composites are corrosion-resistant and are not subject to fatigue damage. The benefits of using composites in the aerospace & defense industry include cost-effectiveness, part consolidation, dimensional stability, and corrosion resistance. More fatigue capability is achieved over traditional jetliners with advanced carbon fiber composite design, enabling bigger passenger windows and lower cabin altitude.
Various types of fibers, such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, natural fibers, among others, are used as composites. The glass fiber composite has the highest demand for transportation, wind energy, construction & infrastructure, and other industries. China is the major market for glass fiber composites with assembly, fabrication, and R&D centers for many international wind energy OEMs, such as Seimens Gamesa and LM wind Power. With China, Germany, the US, Spain being the most affected countries, the entire supply chain in the wind energy industry is disrupted globally. The lockdown of international borders has reduced the demand for glass fiber composites in Europe and North America.
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Carbon fiber composites account for the second-largest share in terms of value in the global composites market. The carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites manufacturers are in a position to take advantage of the plummeting oil and raw materials prices. However, lockdown conditions in various regions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturers are unable to supply their orders to aircraft and vehicle manufacturers
Composites are segmented based on resins used in two types, namely, thermoset composites and thermoplastic composites. The thermoset composites accounted for a larger sharein the composites market. Thermoset composites do not expand under highheat and moist conditions, making them suitable for highly corrosive and high-temperature applications. The demand for both thermoset and thermoplastic composites is expected to see a decline in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Though declined demand will impact the revenue of resin suppliers, they are expected to increase their profit margin from plummeting crude oil prices. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, several players in the composites market have implemented various strategies. For instance, many companies are operating in staggered shifts or running at partials capacities.