Glass Fiber Market outlook

Fiberglass is the main reinforcing material in the composite industry. In the US fiberglass market, it grew by 4% and reached 2.1 billions dollar at 2017. The market is expected to raise to 31 billion pounds by 2023, with a composite annual growth rate of 3.4%.

The four major areas of fiberglass applications are transport, construction, piping and tanks, accounting for 69% of the total applications. With the development of water and wastewater infrastructure, a growing number of construction facilities, and quick growth in automotive, oil and gas-related operations, it is expected to drive further development of the fiberglass market in 2023 and beyond.

In terms of supply and demand, global fiberglass production capacity reach 11.2 billion pounds, and the current utilization rate is 93%.

Lucintel forecasted that with the further increase of glass fiber suppliers ‘ capacity, the utilization of its production line will fall to about 91% in 2018.For example, Owens Corning has planned to add production to France and India in this year; Jushi and Johns Manville has planned to increase capacity in the United States; Taishan Fiberglass has invested in India; and Sisecam Group has built new factories in Turkey.

As more and more applications appear in different terminal markets, the glass fiber market has been promoted continually. Most Purchasing decisions are still heavily influenced by the price of GFRP components. To further promote the growth and competitive advantage of the fiberglass market, the industry needs to pay attention to the following points:

Lower prices: The industry needs to find ways to reduce the cost of composite components, because it competes with steel, aluminum, and even concrete. There are many innovative opportunities to reduce the cost of its raw materials, labor and energy. For example, in order to be competitive in the price-sensitive reinforced bars market valued 200 billion-dollar, a manufacturer of competitive FRP bars must come up with an innovative technology that uses fiberglass and sand to make FRP bar so that the cost can be reduced by nearly 40%.

Innovative manufacturing Technology: it is needed to develop transformative manufacturing technologies that shorten cycle times and reduce costs. Composites have many innovative opportunities because they provide flexibility in design, material selection, manufacturing and composition.

Stable supply chain: with the growing globalization of many industries such as automobiles, wind power, aerospace electronics and so on, it is needed to invest in the development of global materials, design, tooling and manufacturing supply chains for composite materials. For example, Ford, which manufactures vehicles around the world, hopes that one component supplier can meet its global production needs, is critical to achieving the global supply chain.

Better simulation technology: the market needs to invest in the development of better simulation software for composite parts manufacturing. In the steel industry, there are simulation software programs that can predict parts ‘ tolerances, warp, quality and reliability.

Investing in maintenance and recycling technologies: it is needed to address OEM repair and recovery challenges by developing cost-effective technologies and infrastructure.

To sum up, , the composite industry will have significant opportunities for innovation on the each node of the chain. As the industry becomes the mainstream supplier of many markets, the winners will own the market shares and the losers will be eliminated. Lucintel expects that many new and innovative suppliers will emerge and meet market demand.

A Pair of Hands Made of Fiberglass Can Hold up a Bridge

A special bridge always can catch the eye of tourists. At the beginning of this summer, Vietnam’s Bana hills opened a new tourist attraction, which has attracted the attention of tourists from all over the world as soon as it appeared. The bridge is no different from the ordinary bridge. However, in order to draw more attention, the designer has added some special elements that use a pair of hands to lift a bridge vividly. Many tourists come after the scenic spot was opened.

A Pair of Hands Made of Fiberglass Can Hold up a Bridge

The 150-meter-long gold overpass, held by a pair of giant hands, is located on 1400-meter-high Vietnam’s Bana hills. Somebody wonders if only two hands can hold up the entire bridge. In fact, the giant hand is mostly decorative, and it has no bearing function. There are eight piers under the bridge to support the whole bridge. But if you look at it from a distance, it’s like these giant hands lifted the whole bridge, which is very ornamental.

And these giant hands are made of unusual materials. They look like stones, but they are made of steel mesh frames and fiberglass composites. Did the view of the golden bridge with giant hands catch your eye?

Automotive carbon fiber composite materials will surpass metal materials

Japan and the United States dominate most of the world’s carbon fiber production capacity and control the production of high-end carbon fiber. Toray started in the development and production of PAN-based carbon fiber and is the representative of Japanese carbon fiber production enterprises. At present, the world’s major producers of small tow carbon fiber include Japan Toray, Japan Toho Rayon, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Rayon. Although the US company has less output, it is still technically comparable to the three huge Japanese companies.

Automotive carbon fiber composite materials will surpass metal materials

Before and after the development of carbon fiber by Toray, China began to independently develop carbon fiber. Although China has become the world’s largest producer of fiberglass, unfortunately, after nearly 40 years of development from mid-1970s, China’s carbon fiber industry’s development and production level lags behind, which is unable to compete with the US and Japan companies.

According to estimates, under the same cruising range, the weight of electric vehicles is more than 200~300kg or more than traditional vehicles. Therefore, in order to ensure that the electric vehicle has a good cruising range and affordable cost, the weight of the electric vehicle must be reduced by more than 50%. Among all lightweight materials, carbon fiber is the only advanced material that can reduce the weight of steel parts by 50-60% while providing the same strength.

Automotive carbon fiber composite materials will surpass metal materials

Carbon fiber reinforced composites have excellent physical properties: 30% lighter than aluminum, 50% lighter than steel, and 7 to 9 times stronger than steel. They were first used in high-tech fields such as aerospace, and military. It is recognized that CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced composite material) is the best material to solve the weight loss of new energy vehicles. The use of carbon fiber can make vehicles lose weight by 30% to 60%, It is a new energy source, and the leader of the vehicles’ “slimming revolution”, which plays a key role in vehicles lightweighting.

Throughout the current development of the new energy vehicles industry, it can be found that the wide application of carbon fiber composite materials in new energy vehicles is an inevitable result. it is also an inevitable choice for new energy vehicles companies to carry out automobile production and manufacturing.

Automotive carbon fiber composite materials will surpass metal materials

“Materials can change our lives.” As the slogan of Toray, carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced composites that contribute to energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction. Toray holds about half of the world’s share of polyacrylonitrile-based carbon fiber. The technicians engaged in the development of Toray have long established carbon fiber-made vehicles and airplanes with the market targets of vehicles, airplanes, and atomic power generation. Toray started with sports and leisure products, and changed the use of carbon fiber for vehicles, airplanes and wind turbines at the same time.

Toray shows: There are two things that can surpass the automotive industry or bring the automotive industry to a higher level in the future: one is artificial intelligence, and the second is carbon fiber lightweight, which uses carbon fiber composites to surpass metal materials.