The unexpected shifts in the global markets because of the sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus have brought many major and minor tremors to industries of all sizes including the Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market.
It was estimated prior to this unanticipated outbreak that the Carbon Fiber Prepreg Market was expected to reach an estimated value of US$ 4.9 billion in 2026. However, the gradual slowing down of industries will undoubtedly impose limits on the previously estimated growth rate.
Carbon fiber prepreg is pre-pegged with catalyzed resins, such as epoxy, BMI, PPS, and PEEK. Carbon fiber prepregs offer excellent performance over other fiber prepregs with numerous advantages such as excellent weight reduction, high strength-to-weight ratio, high tensile and compressive strength, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and high fatigue resistance. Escalating demand for lightweight materials from key industries, such as aerospace & defense and automotive, owing to rapidly changing market dynamics with increased demand for lightweight and durable materials is likely to create new revenue pockets for prepreggers in this product category.
Despite several setbacks in the aerospace and automotive industries in 2019, the prepreg market participants somehow efficacious in maintaining their growth trajectory in the year. The outbreak of the pandemic was initially anticipated as a viable hitch, later transformed into an obstruction for survival for many stakeholders of almost all the end-use industries with aerospace and automotive proving to be its biggest victims.
The carbon fiber prepreg market is expected to mark a massive decline in 2020. The short-term impact on the market is evident in major players’ H1 2020 results with a massive plunge in revenue, huge loss, employee layoffs, cash-burnouts, production halt, etc. Nevertheless, the long-term outlook still seems hopeful with a gradual rebound in aircraft and automobile production, ultimately imprinting a positive impact on the market. Carbon prepreg accounts for more than a mammoth 80% of the total prepreg market.
Based on the end-use industry type, Stratview research has segmented the market as aerospace & defense, automotive, wind energy, consumer goods, and others. Despite the current glum scenario, the aerospace & defense is expected to push through, maintaining its dominance in the market till 2026. On the other side, the automotive industry is expected to turn the corner, healing at the fastest pace during the forecast period. Unabating demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, owing to rising concerns over the environmental pollution and an expected ramp-up in composite penetration in newer aircraft programs are likely to catapult the carbon fiber prepreg demand in the years to come.
Based on the product type, we have classified the market as epoxy prepreg, BMI prepreg, cyanate ester prepreg, phenolic prepreg, PPS prepreg, PEEK prepreg, polyimide prepreg, and other prepregs. Epoxy prepreg is likely to hold the throne in the market till 2026, whereas BMI prepreg is expected to heal at the fastest rate post the pandemic. Carbon fiber prepregs are generally used with epoxy resin systems for several crucial applications such as aircraft fuselage, wings, control surfaces, engine & nacelles, fan blades, and interiors.
All regions are expected to suffer from an enormous decline in 2020. In spite of the grave downturn, North America is projected to remain the largest market during the forecast period. The region’s dominance is attributed to several factors including a robust supply chain and presence of major tier players, OEMs, and Prepreggers. Aerospace & Defense is estimated to remain the biggest demand generator for carbon fiber prepreg in the region’s market.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to log the quickest recovery in the market during the forecast period. The upcoming commercial aircraft program (C919), the opening of assembly plants in China by Boeing and Airbus, and an ongoing shift in assembly plants of automotive OEMs in the region from North America and Europe are likely to create healthy long-term demand for carbon fiber prepreg in the region.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, carbon fiber prepreg manufacturers, distributors, composite part fabricators, OEMs, and MRO companies. The key carbon fiber prepreg manufacturers include Hexcel Corporation, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites Inc., Solvay SA, Teijin Limited, Gurit Holding, Park Electrochemical, and Toray Industries, Inc. The formation of long-term contracts, application development, and development of innovative products are some of the key strategies adopted by the major players in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. The prevalent COVID-19 crisis has pushed leading players to realign their strategies to adapt to the need of the hour.