Reinforced plastics are composite materials made by reinforcing plastics with different types of fibers. The fibers are usually glass (in fiberglass), carbon (in the carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer), aramid, or basalt. Rarely, other fibers such as paper, wood, or asbestos have been used. The polymer is usually an epoxy, vinyl ester, or polyester thermosetting plastic, though phenol-formaldehyde resins are still in use. Reinforced Plastics are commonly used in the aerospace, automotive, marine, and construction industries. They are commonly found in ballistic armor as well.
A polymer is generally manufactured by step-growth polymerization or addition polymerization. When combined with various agents to enhance or in any way alter the material properties of polymers, the result is referred to as a plastic. Composite plastics refer to those types of plastics that result from bonding two or more homogeneous materials with different material properties to derive a final product with certain desired material and mechanical properties. Fiber-reinforced plastics are a category of composite plastics that specifically, use fiber materials to mechanically enhance the strength and the elasticity of plastics.
Rising Demand for Lightweight Materials
· Various industries have been focusing on reducing the weight of their products by replacing heavy metals and other materials from lightweight materials. Hence, owing to the rising demand for lightweight materials, the application of reinforced plastics has been increasing, as these plastics have emerged as a widely compatible and efficient substitute for heavy metals and other substrates for use in these industries.
Growing Interest in Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Augments Demand
· The automotive industry has been focusing on reducing the weight of the vehicles in order to improve the performance and efficiency of the vehicles. In this regards, the automotive industry has been found replacing heavy metals and other materials with suitable lightweight materials, such as plastics in place of metal parts, adhesives in place of welding.
The growing use of GFRP in electrical gadgets, automotive, and construction & infrastructure attributing to the growth of this reinforced plastics market. On the other hand, lightweight and design flexibility by the CFRP is rising in aircraft and wind turbine blades, as it increases the aerodynamic efficiency of this market.
The reinforced plastics market is estimated to witness moderate growth during the forecast period due to the increasing demand for lightweight materials in industries like automotive, aerospace, machines & equipment manufacturers, marine, etc. are driving the demand for reinforced plastics materials market.
Less availability and price fluctuations of raw materials are expected to have a negative impact on the product market over the forecast period. Though the conductivity of Fiber-reinforced plastics materials and high volatile costs can restrict the growth of this market. The growth of the Reinforced plastics pipe market is hampered by the fluctuating raw material prices.
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The Reinforced Plastic the market is segmented on the basis of its Technology, Raw material, Type, Manufacturing Process, Applications, and Region. On the basis of Raw material the reinforced plastics market is segmented into Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), Petroleum pitch, Rayon, Coal Tar Pitch.
Fiber-Reinforced Plastics are composite materials that typically consist of strong fibers embedded in a resin matrix. The fibers provide strength and stiffness to the composite and generally carry most of the applied loads. The matrix acts to bond and protect the fibers and to provide for the transfer of stress from fiber to fiber through shear stresses. The most common fibers are glass, carbon, and synthetic fibers. FRP composites have very high strength characteristics and are nonconductive, noncorrosive, and lightweight.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) the segment also known as Creslan 61, is a synthetic, semicrystalline organic polymer resin, with the linear formula (C3H3N)n. Though it is thermoplastic, it does not melt under normal conditions. It degrades before melting. It melts above 300 °C if the heating rates are 50 degrees per minute or above. Almost all PAN resins are copolymers made from mixtures of monomers with acrylonitrile as the main monomer. Fiberglass displays characteristics of resistant to weather, lightweight, suitable for a surface assortment that accounts for its growing adoption across a number of applications. Due to these properties, fiberglass is increasingly becoming a material of choice for several new applications. Infrastructural development and increasing adoption of clean energy are stoking demand for fiberglass, especially in emerging economies.
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In North America, reinforced plastics market is expected to witness significant growth, owing to the expansion of the automobile industry in the region. North America region is also projected to generate high demand owing to increasing infrastructural activities in emerging nations such as Europe and Canada. These countries have enormous potential for high reinforced plastics demand.
The European region is also expected to witness enhanced product demand over the forecast period, owing to expansion in the automobile industry in this region. Europe has planned to increase both, production as well as the sale of electric vehicles to million a year. The packaging industry in the region has been witnessing strong growth, majorly fueled by newly emerged business platforms, like e-commerce, e-retail, online food orders & delivery, etc.
Besides this, the region has been witnessing the construction boom in the industry in various emerging economies, such as Europe, America, Canada present in the region. Hence, as reinforced plastics find diversified applications in these industries, the demand for these plastics is projected to increase during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific region is also projected to generate high demand owing to increasing infrastructural activities in emerging nations such as China and India. These countries have enormous potential for high reinforced plastics demand. The European region is also expected to witness enhanced product demand over the forecast period, owing to expansion in the automobile industry in this region. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share in the global reinforced plastics market, owing to widespread adoption in industrial and automotive sectors in countries, like India and China.
The aviation industry in China was said to be adding around 6,000 new airplanes. China’s domestic air passenger market experienced the biggest incremental rise, in terms of the number of journeys made by passengers.
Some of the major players in the Reinforced Plastic market are Solvay, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., Teijin, Ltd., BASF SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Hexcel Corp., Toray Industries, Inc., Celanese Corp., Huntsman International Llc., Owens Corning, Polyone, PPG Industries, Inc.