Composites are by nature at the intersection of many industries. The value chain of the composite materials involves many industrial sectors, from raw materials supply up to part production. Their manufacturing processes require equipment and machines but also a wide range of simulation, automation, testing and measurement techniques. The pace of innovation in the sector is extremely high among all parties involved, including academia, R&D centers and large companies, but also deep tech startups. Composites are also linked to several adjacent markets, including technical textiles, advanced smart materials and chemicals, from nano to macro-components (e.g. from graphene up to macro-composites).
The new JEC Observer report “Overview of the global composites market 2021-2026” contains a perimeter and definitions, gives an overview of the composites industry in 2021 and shows dynamics by region and by application.
The industry provides materials, parts and products to more than 15 major application sectors, such as aerospace, automotive and shipbuilding, as well as construction, sports, medical, and electronics. The good properties of composites as well as the industry’s continued focus on innovation are fostering their adoption and opening up new application markets.
Data from the JEC Observer, compiled by Estin & Co., Paris/France, and published by the JEC Group, Paris, refers to composite materials consisting of a fiber reinforcement and an organic matrix. The most used materials are glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, followed by composites reinforced by aramid or natural fibers.
Following a decline in production volumes in 2020, the global composite
materials industry is returning to pre-pandemic growth rates, with the energy, electrical and electronics, construction, marine and consumer goods markets showing the fastest recoveries. New growth opportunities are also opening up in emerging sectors such as electric and hydrogen vehicles.
The full report is available online.