Carbon fiber composite materials for vehicles will grow rapidly

  According to a research report published in April by American consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the global automotive carbon fiber composite material market will grow to 7,885 tons in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 31.5% from 2010 to 2017. Meanwhile, its sales will grow from $14.7 million in 2010 to $95.5 million in 2017. Although automotive carbon fiber composite materials are still in their infancy, driven by three major factors, they will usher in explosive growth in the future.


  According to the research of Frost & Sullivan, from 2011 to 2017, the market driving force of automotive carbon fiber composite materials mainly includes the following aspects:

  First, due to high fuel efficiency and low carbon emission regulations, the global demand for lightweight materials to replace metals is increasing, and carbon fiber composite materials have greater advantages than steel in automotive applications.

  Second, the application of carbon fiber composite materials in automobiles is promising. Many foundries work not only with Tier 1 suppliers, but also with carbon fiber manufacturers in order to make usable parts. For example, Evonik has jointly developed carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) lightweight materials with Johnson Controls, Jacob Plastic and Toho Tenax; Dutch Royal TenCate and Japan’s Toray The company has a long-term supply agreement; Toray has a joint research and development agreement with Daimler to develop CFRP components for Mercedes-Benz. Due to the increase in demand, major carbon fiber manufacturers are stepping up research and development, and carbon fiber composite material production technology will have new breakthroughs.

  Third, global auto demand will recover, especially in the luxury and ultra-luxury segments, which is the main target market for carbon composites. Most of these cars are produced only in Japan, Western Europe (Germany, Italy, UK) and the US. Due to the consideration of the crashworthiness, style, and assembly of automobile parts, automobile foundries will pay more and more attention to carbon fiber composite materials.

  However, Frost & Sullivan also said that the price of carbon fiber is high, and a considerable part of the cost depends on the price of crude oil, and it is not expected to drop in the short term, which is not conducive to the reduction of costs by car manufacturers. Foundries lack overall engineering experience and have adapted to metal parts-based assembly lines, and are cautious about replacing equipment due to risk and replacement costs. In addition, there are new requirements for the complete vehicle recyclability of vehicles. According to the European Reimbursement Vehicle Act, by 2015, the recycling capacity of vehicles will increase from 80% to 85%. Competition between carbon fiber composites and mature reinforced glass composites will intensify.


  Automotive carbon fiber composites refer to composites of carbon fibers and resins that are used in various structural or non-structural applications in automobiles. Compared with other materials, carbon fiber composite materials have higher tensile modulus and tensile strength, and carbon fiber composite materials are one of the materials with the smallest density. In crash-resistant structures, carbon fiber resin materials are the best choice. The resin used together with carbon fiber is most commonly epoxy resin, and polyester, vinyl ester, nylon, and polyether ether ketone are also used in small amounts.

Post time: Mar-25-2022

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