Unidirectional tapes are used as standard materials in automotive and aerospace industries. The fiber is usually impregnated with thermosetting resins. Unidirectional tapes are composite materials that are generally based on carbon fiber or glass fiber. These tapes are manufactured using several thermoplastic resins and can be customized according to the application. Appropriate sizing of the carbon or glass fiber confirms optimal bonding to the plastic. Hence, unidirectional tapes possess outstanding mechanical properties.
Unidirectional tapes is a key segment of the composites market. Increase in demand for these tapes in high-strength lightweight components in automotive applications is anticipated to drive the unidirectional tapes market during the forecast period. Rise in government pressure on improving fuel efficiency is also estimated to boost the demand for lightweight components. This, in turn, is projected to propel the unidirectional tapes market during the next few years. However, availability of various internal and external substitutes is likely to restrain market growth.
Unidirectional tapes are used for applications such as lightweight automotive body parts and structural components. Unidirectional tapes required for auto components are produced through technologies such as back injection molding and thermoforming.
Sports goods are also expected to offer growth opportunities to the unidirectional tapes market during the forecast period due to rising demand for lightweight and high strength equipment in order to maximize the athletes’ performance. Unique properties of unidirectional tapes such as good chemical resistance, high impact strength, and damping make them preferable in industrial applications.
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In terms of consumption, North America held the major share of the global unidirectional tapes market, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe, in 2016. Asia Pacific accounted for large share of the unidirectional tapes market in terms of production in 2016. Asia Pacific is expected to provide lucrative opportunities to the unidirectional tapes market during the next few years due to the rapid growth in the automotive industry and increase in need for lightweight materials for the production of auto components in the region.
Key players operating in the unidirectional tapes market include Performance Composites Inc., Composites Evolution Ltd., SGL Group, Evonik, SABIC, and BASF SE.