The global carbon prepreg market has been estimated at USD XXXX million in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 5,247.25 million by 2020, at a CAGR of 11.2% during the forecast period. The global carbon prepreg business is expected to grow significantly over the following years. Carbon prepreg is a sheet of the carbon fiber woven along with resins. It resembles a cloth woven with carbon fibers and is rolled into sheets. They are generally stored at cooler temperatures, around -200 C, although new techniques are developed to store them at room temperature. They are used in making components lighter and the cost is not of paramount importance. Carbon prepreg is an intermediate good as it is not utilized by the end consumer nor is it a raw material.
There exists a wide variety of potential and existing applications for carbon prepregs. Some of the carbon prepreg applications are still in developmental stage whereas others are already industrialized and commercialized. Carbon prepregs are used in aerospace, defense, automotive, sports goods, leisure equipment, electricals, electronics, and other industries. They are basically used wherever there is a requirement for high strength and lightweight. Aerospace and defense form the major segments in terms of revenue as the carbon fiber usage is high. The aerospace industry accounted for more than 25% share of the global carbon prepreg market in 2015.
The property of being the commercially lightest available material drives the growth of this market. The market is expected to be driven by the huge investments in the energy sector, especially wind energy sector. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) being the lightest commercially material available, is used in the manufacturing of propellers for windmills. CFRP is typically four times lighter than the steel, tensile strength being the same. Even though CFRP components can be made with other raw materials like carbon threads, prepregs are majorly employed due to the ease of working with them. CFRP components are finding their usage ever increasing in defense, aviation and high performance automotive applications where lightness is more important than cost. However, the cost of the carbon fiber is still high for the large-scale usage. Some technologies also make it compulsory to have storage solutions with low temperature to increase the life of the product. Autoclave, that is used to cure the components made from prepreg and its maintenance costs add a high amount of cost to the manufacturing of final components.
The market has been segmented by resin type and industrial sector. Based on resin type the market is segmented into thermoplastic and thermosetting. Thermosetting forms a major part of the market. Based on industry, the market is segmented into aerospace and defense, energy, automotive, leisure, electronics and others. The major market share is held by aerospace and defense segments. Lightweight and stiff materials are very important in aerospace and defense industry for efficient operations. Cost not being a barrier, carbon prepregs are majorly used in making components in this industry.
The market has also been geographically segmented into APAC, North America, Europe, South America, and MEA. In terms of consumption in 2015, North America led the market with a share of 27%. It was followed by Europe and APAC. The U.S. defense and NASA are the largest consumers of the carbon fiber in the world and are responsible for the high market share of North America. Boeing, a major aircraft manufacturer is based in U.S. of North America. Europe has a large number of automotive manufacturers and automotive racing organizations like Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLAREN, BMW, Formula 1 teams that employ carbon fiber components extensively. Airbus, based in France also uses carbon fiber in its aircrafts.
The company profiles of the major carbon prepreg manufacturers that have been discussed in this study are:
Key Deliverables in the Study: