Global Carbon Fiber Market to Hit Market Size of USD 52.16 Billion By 2050: Astute Analytica

The global carbon fiber market is experiencing substantial growth due to its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and increasing demand from industries like aerospace, automotive, and renewable energy. Production expansions, technological advancements, and a focus on sustainability drive its upward trajectory.

New Delhi, April 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global carbon fiber market is projected to reach US$ 52.16 billion by 2050, up from US$ 3.40 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 11.07% during the forecast period 2024–2050.

The carbon fiber market is flourishing due to its remarkable attributes and diversifying applications across sectors. With a worldwide production of some 104,000 metric tons per year, carbon fiber is used in products ranging from planes and cars to wind turbines and sportswear. The aerospace sector gobbles up more than a quarter of the world’s annual production of 27,000 metric tons. The automotive industry uses 18,500 metric tons each year; the push toward electric vehicles will consume another 10,000 metric tons by 2030. Wind energy requires 20,000 metric tons for strong turbine blades that can be lighter and so more efficient. And sports equipment takes about 14,000 metric tons.

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Carbon fiber has a premium price: $15,000-$28,000 per ton. But with its combination of lightness and strength, it offers value for money — hence a global market that keeps on growing. Japan produces over 30,000 tons a year; the United States makes an estimated 38,000 tons; and Europe consumes about 25,500 tons.

Key Findings in Carbon Fiber Market

Market Forecast (2050) US$ 52.16 Billion
CAGR 6.04%
Largest Region (2023) Asia Pacific (44.5%)
By Precursor Type PAN Type Carbon Fiber (73.3%)
By Tow Size 24-48 K (70.1%)
By Modulus   Standard Modulus (T300 -T700) (82.1%)
By End Users Aerospace and Defense (26.0%)
Top Trends
  • Increasing adoption of recycled carbon fiber and emphasis on using lignin as a raw material.
  • Growing use of carbon fiber in 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing applications.
  • Expansion of carbon fiber composites in the wind energy sector for turbine blades.
Top Drivers
  • Surging demand for lightweight, high-performance materials in the aerospace and defense industry.
  • Stringent fuel efficiency regulations driving adoption in the automotive sector.
  • Rising need for durable, corrosion-resistant materials in industrial applications.
Top Challenges
  • High production costs and limited manufacturing capacity constraining market growth.
  • Lack of standardization and challenges in recycling and reusing carbon fiber materials.
  • Competition from alternative lightweight materials like glass and basalt fibers.

Recycled Carbon Fiber to Generate More than $238.8 million in Revenue by 2032

The demand for recycled carbon is on the rise across the global carbon fiber market. People are concerned about the environment and this solution costing less compared to its virgin counterparts — among other reasons. According to a study, 30% of initial carbon fiber production results in waste, and by 2030, 500,000 tons of composite waste will be generated by renewables manufacturers. Recycled carbon reduces the chances of these issues happening. It also cuts costs by as much as 40%. Boeing’s been able to cut its own costs by that same amount thanks to recycled materials that provide virtually the same performance as aerospace-grade fibers.

As per Astute Analytica’s recent report, recycled carbon fiber’s revenue could hit $238.8 million by 2032. There’s potential for it to control 35% of the market share by 2035 too. Carbon Conversions proved this when it recycled 1.5 million pounds of waste in 2022, and Toray Industries did as well when it made large investments into producing more of the material. The automotive field will be its fastest-growing consumer soon with a possible 25% share by 2027, but right now aerospace consumes most of it with companies like Boeing and Airbus working on recycling programs for their products already.

Pyrolysis is currently the best method to recycle this stuff (owning about two-thirds of the industry at a time), but start-ups like Fairmat (with $45.5 million in funding) and 9T Labs show lots of promise for other methods down the line.

PAN Type Carbon Fiber to Account for Overwhelming Market Share of 73.3%

There’s no denying it, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) carbon fiber is having a moment as high demand for this material is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon in the global carbon fiber market One of the main forces driving its popularity is the aerospace and defense sector. They’re in need of lighter materials that still perform to high standards. Carbon fiber composites are being used more frequently in aircraft structures as a result. For example, Boeing and Airbus wide-body airframes now contain 20-25% worth of this super strong material. This industry wants to increase fuel efficiency and performance optimization by lightening their loads.

Environmental applications are also contributing to the growth of PAN carbon fibers. The material can adsorb all sorts of contaminants out of water or air purification systems. Clean air and water are two major concerns for our planet right now; stricter regulations are just around the corner to make companies take action. These factors are projected to spur the growth of the carbon fiber market.

It’s clear that PAN is king when it comes to carbon fiber production precursors. A whopping 90% of all carbon fiber uses PAN as its base, with rayon and petroleum pitch making up the remaining 10%. There’s a reason why almost everyone uses PAN: It’s strong, stable and yields more carbon than alternatives like rayon or petroleum pitch does. PAN-based carbon fibers have an extensive list of desirable properties such as: resistance to extreme temperatures, lightweight build, corrosion proofing, exceptional electrical performance and strong compressive or bending resistance. These attributes concrete the position of PAN-based activated carbon fibers as a preferred choice for reinforced composite materials in countless different industries.

24-48k Tow Size Dominates, Standard Modulus Preferred, Aerospace Leads Demand in Carbon Fiber Market

Tow Size Trends: In the global carbon fiber market, 24-48k tow size is the most popular. It has about 70% of the market share. This size is loved by consumers for its strength and flexibility. Even in future applications, the demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.16%, making sure it always remains crucial.

Modulus Preferences: The Standard Modulus range (T300-T700) is preferred by almost all consumers with their whopping 82% market share. They’re favored for their balanced strength and flexibility, which makes them perfect for many uses across various industries. On another note, Intermediate Modulus (T800-T1100) shows promise with its projected CAGR of 11.50%. This suggests an increase in its adoption by industries that require higher performance characteristics.

End-User Dynamics: The main consumer of carbon fiber is the aerospace and defense sector, which alone accounts for about a quarter of all revenue made from it. Clearly these industries need lightweight materials with superior strength to make their products work well enough to meet industry standards. Their projected growth rate of 11.23% on carbon fiber composites aligns with other big companies’ goal; manufacturing lighter, more efficient aircrafts and defense equipment will be easier if they swap their old parts out with this material.

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Aerospace, Automotive, and Energy Sectors Fuel North American Carbon Fiber Growth

North American carbon fiber market is expected to show high growth potential due to increasing demand across numerous end-use industries. Hexcel, for example, has partnered with Dassault in a carbon fiber prepreg supply agreement for the Falcon 10X program. Investments in research and development (R&D) include Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF), which focuses on lowering the cost of precursors and advancing conversion methods. The aerospace and defense sector are major drivers for such development; currently, 20-25% of Boeing’s and Airbus’s modern wide-body airframes have carbon fiber content. As the aerospace industry continues to grow rapidly in the region, North America is expected to drive global carbon fiber demand over the next decade.

The automotive industry — known for its high standard of living and appetite for high-performance vehicles — also plays a critical role in the carbon fiber market in terms of both volume and performance requirements. All major automakers are developing Carbon Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRTP) composites for broad automotive applications. Wind power has become an increasingly important alternative energy sector as it incorporates more carbon fibers into wind turbine blades, including CFRTP thermoset composites. Strohm has signed an agreement with Evonik Industries to develop thermoplastic composite pipes with carbon fiber reinforcement to offer offshore wind developers superior corrosion resistance at competitive costs. The North American carbon fiber composites market is expected to exceed 55 kilotons by 2030.

Lucrative Investment and Development Outlook of Carbon Fiber Market

  • In July 2022, Hexcel signed a long-term agreement to supply carbon fiber prepreg for Dassault’s Falcon 10X business jet program. This marks the first time Dassault is using advanced carbon fiber composites to manufacture aircraft wings for one of its business jet programs.
  • Toray Industries, a major carbon fiber manufacturer, has been investing in expanding its production capacity to meet the growing demand.
  • In August 2022, Vartega, a carbon fiber and composite material recycler, announced it is expanding to a new 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and headquarters in Denver, Colorado. This will increase their production capacity by 10 times in the growth of the carbon fiber market.
  • In May 2021, Braskem, a major polyolefins and biopolymers producer in the Americas, announced a partnership with Vartega to advance the development and adoption of recycled carbon fiber.
  • Solvay, a science and technology company, has 20 R&D centers exploring product improvements with its 264 brands, aiming to bring technological advancements to the carbon fiber industry.
  • In recent years, Latin America has seen significant investments in the construction and automotive industries, especially in Mexico and Brazil, which is expected to drive carbon fiber demand in the region.
  • Anshan Senoda Carbon Fiber Co., Ltd., a carbon fiber manufacturer based in China, has been expanding its presence in the global carbon fiber market.

Global Carbon Fiber Market Key Players

  • Advanced Composites Inc.
  • Formosa M Co. Ltd
  • Hexcel Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber & Composites Inc.
  • Nippon Graphite Fiber Co. Ltd.
  • SGL Group
  • Solvay
  • Teijin Limited
  • Toray Industries Inc
  • Zoltek Corporation
  • Other Prominent players

Key Segmentation:

By Precursor Type

  • PAN Type Carbon Fibre
  • Pitch Type Carbon Fibre

By Tow Size

  • 1-12 k
  • 24-48 k
  • >48 k

By Modules

  • Standard Modulus (T300 -T700)
  • Intermediate Modulus (T800-T1100)
  • High Modulus (M35-M60)

By End User

  • Aerospace & Defence
    • Civil wide body
    • Civil narrow body
    • EVtol/drones
    • Military
    • Other
  • Automotive
    • Super cars
    • Premium vehicles (gasoline)
    • Electric vehicles (EVs)
  • Pressure vessels / Hydrogen storage
    • CNG
    • Hydrogen storage Automotive
    • Hydrogen storage Aerospace
    • Hydrogen storage Ground
    • Hydrogen storage Rail
  • Pressure vessels / Hydrogen storage
    • CNG
    • Hydrogen storage Automotive
    • Hydrogen storage Aerospace
    • Hydrogen storage Ground
    • Hydrogen storage Rail
  • Wind & Energy
    • Wind on-shore
    • Wind off-shore
    • Tidal power
    • Fuel cells
    • Other
  • Infrastructure/civil
    • Buildings
    • Concrete re-bar
    • Trains
    • Other
  • Consumer
    • Bicycles
    • Marine
    • Consumer goods
    • Other

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
  • South America

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About Astute Analytica

Astute Analytica is a global analytics and advisory company which has built a solid reputation in a short period, thanks to the tangible outcomes we have delivered to our clients. We pride ourselves in generating unparalleled, in depth and uncannily accurate estimates and projections for our very demanding clients spread across different verticals. We have a long list of satisfied and repeat clients from a wide spectrum including technology, healthcare, chemicals, semiconductors, FMCG, and many more. These happy customers come to us from all across the Globe. They are able to make well calibrated decisions and leverage highly lucrative opportunities while surmounting the fierce challenges all because we analyze for them the complex business environment, segment wise existing and emerging possibilities, technology formations, growth estimates, and even the strategic choices available. In short, a complete package. All this is possible because we have a highly qualified, competent, and experienced team of professionals comprising of business analysts, economists, consultants, and technology experts. In our list of priorities, you-our patron-come at the top. You can be sure of best cost-effective, value-added package from us, should you decide to engage with us.

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