Introduction to Automotive Composite Material
A composite material comprising two or more different materials that have dissimilar properties. The properties of the composite material are completely different and superior to those of the two or more materials that have been combined. Composites used in vehicles are composed of a high performance fiber embedded in a matrix material. Application of composites in vehicles make the vehicle lighter, safer, and more fuel-efficient.
Market Drivers for Automotive Composite Material
Increasing vehicle production is expected to drive the automotive composite material market during the forecast period. Application of composite materials in vehicle manufacturing achieves the objectives of fuel efficiency and downsizing of vehicles. Moreover, composite materials have proven to cause minimal damage during crashes and accidents due to their high strength, stiffness, high modulus, fatigue resistance, fire resistance, and resistance against crack propagation, corrosion resistance and shock absorption capacity. This, in turn, is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for composite materials in the automotive industry in the near future.
Composite materials are more expensive than other plastic materials that are utilized in the manufacture of vehicles. This is expected to restrain the automotive composite materials market to some extent in the near future.
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Automotive Composite Material Market Segmentation
Based on type, the automotive composite materials market can be segmented into polymer matrix composites, metal matrix composites, and ceramic matrix composites. The polymer matrix composites segment can be further sub-divided into carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP), and glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP). The polymer matrix composites segment is expected to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period owing to its remarkable properties such as light weight and comparatively low cost.
Based on application, the automotive composite materials market can be divided into interior and exterior. The exterior components of the vehicle such as bonnet, side valences, bumper, chassis, and front fascia are made from composite material. Similarly, composite materials are utilized in several interior components of the vehicle such as inner deck lid, front end carrier, under the hood applications, truck box tail gate for pickup trucks, and top sleeper in trucks.
Based on method of manufacturing, the automotive composite materials market can be classified as layup process, compression molding, resin transfer molding (RTM), filament winding, injection molding, pultrusion, and others.
Based on vehicle type, the automotive composite materials market can be segmented into passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. The passenger vehicles segment is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace owing to the increasing production of passenger vehicles in recent years.
Based on sales channel, the automotive composite materials market can be segregated into OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and aftermarket. The aftermarket segment is anticipated to expand at a significant growth rate during the forecast period owing to the need for replacement of a vehicle’s exterior parts, which are made of composite material after the vehicle meets with an accident.
Based on geographical region, the automotive composite material market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to dominate the automotive composite material market during the forecast period owing to the rapid technological advances in the plastics and composites industry, increasing volumes of vehicle production, and the rising consumer demand for sports vehicles, where robustness of the vehicle is of a prime concern.
Key players operating in the global automotive composite material market include Owens Corning, Cytec Industries Inc., TORAY INDUSTRIES, INC., SGL GROUP, and TEIJIN LIMITED.