The global Automotive Carbon Thermoplastic market size was worth USD XX billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach USD XX billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of XX % during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Carbon fiber is an advanced material that is ten times stronger than steel at only a quarter of its weight. Carbon fiber reinforced Thermoplastic (CFRP) is a composite material made of carbon fiber and plastic.
The material has the added advantage of being highly defiant to deformation and both acid and alkaline corrosion. In addition, its potential to meet demands for energy saving and CO2 reduction in the automotive field has drawn increasing attention.
Moreover, the development and application of carbon thermoplastics (CFRPs) for automotive weight reduction and strict CO2 emissions have increased significantly in recent years, aiming towards mass production opportunities
Increasing environmental and economic concerns are driving the carbon thermoplastic in automotive
The automotive industry is one of the primary sources of global CO2 emissions. For instance, as per United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Therefore, automotive companies have focused their research on technologies that reduce these emissions, which has led to the development of low-emission and high-efficiency internal combustion engines, hybrid engines, fuel cell engines, and electric motors.
Furthermore, weight reduction is important in all automotive applications. For instance, as reported by Japan's Ministry of Transport, decreasing the weight of a single automobile by 100 kg reduces its CO2CO2 emissions by an average of 20 g/km.
Thus, the development and application of carbon thermoplastics (CFRPs) for automotive weight reduction and strict CO2 emissions have increased significantly in recent years, aiming towards mass production opportunities. For instance, in February 2020, Covestro AG, a German company, developed a new composite technology to produce thin, lightweight, high-strength, aesthetic parts for vehicles that reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions or increase the range of electric cars. The technology is based on Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Thermoplastic Polymers (CFRTP) and is marketed under the name Maezio™.
Henceforth, there is a growing demand for carbon thermoplastic replacing high-tension steel and other materials in EVs, hybrid vehicles and other next-generation eco-cars.
The high production cost of composite thermoplastic is hindering the market
Thermoplastics are much more difficult to impregnate reinforcing fiber because the thermoplastic resin is naturally in a solid-state. Therefore, the resin must be heated to the melting point, and pressure is required to impregnate fibers, and the composite must then be cooled under this pressure. The process is complex and very different from the conventional way of manufacturing thermoset composite. The process requires special tooling, technique, and equipment, many of which are expensive.
For instance, according to the current market conditions, the price per pound of carbon fiber raw material can vary from 5 to 25 times the price of fiberglass. Compared with steel, the high cost of the materials is even more prominent.
Henceforth, despite composites' excellent performance, carbon fibers are not widely used in product production because of their high cost.
Based on resin type, the automotive carbon thermoplastic market is segmented into Polyamide, Polyurethane, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS), Polyvinyl Chloride, Polycarbonate and others.
Polyamides, also known as Nylon, are the major engineering and high-performance thermoplastics class because of their good balance of properties. The material exhibits high temperature and electrical resistances. Hence, they are widely used in automotive & transportation markets. For instance, around 12% of thermoplastic parts and components in the automotive industry are manufactured and developed from polyamide.
Recent product developments and launches cater to the demand for polyamides in the market. For instance, Rhodia, a French company, launched a polyamide-based polyamide 610, partially called Technyl eXten, made from castor oil. Technyl eXten is a high-performing polyamide with similar characteristics to polyamide 12 for car companies seeking greener options.
Moreover, DuPont has developed Zytel PLUS, a new family of polyamide products with improved durability that can double the life of thermoplastic components exposed to hot, chemically aggressive and humid environments.
Besides, BASF uses polyamide in transmission beams where it has replaced aluminum in BMW's 5 Series Gran Turismo 550i. Ultramid polyamide and Elastollan PU are used for a crash-active engine cover with an integrated air filter for the 7 series.
Europe is expected to dominate the automotive carbon thermoplastic owing to increased regulation over CO2 emissions and demand for electric vehicles
The European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament set binding carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles for 2025 and 2030. The targets aim to reduce the average CO2 emissions from new cars by 15% and 37.5% in 2025 and 2030, respectively.
Moreover, Europe is buying electric vehicles rapidly and has overtaken China as the world’s biggest EV market. The government subsidies and dozens of new cars and hybrids encourages consumers. As per The Wall Street Journal, Europe’s share of global new electric car sales nearly doubled to 43% last year, while China and the U.S. lost market share. Moreover, sales of plug-in electric vehicles in Europe rose 137% to 1.4 million vehicles last year, outpacing China, which recorded a 12% increase to 1.3 million.
Hence, European companies are more into developing and manufacturing carbon thermoplastic for automotive driven by the growing electric vehicles and stringent regulation over carbon emissions. For instance, DSM, a Netherlands-based company, launched carbon fibers based on DSM’s EcoPaXX® polyamide 410 (PA 410), Akulon® polyamide 6 (PA 6) and Stanyl® polyamide 46 (PA 46). These will facilitate significant weight reduction in automobile body and chassis parts.
In addition, DSM is a partner in the 4-year ENLIGHT project, which includes car companies such as Jaguar Cars, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo. Part of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, ENLIGHT aims to accelerate the technological development of a portfolio of materials, which together offer a strong potential to reduce weight and overall carbon footprint in medium-to-high volume electric vehicles that could reach the market between 2020 and 2025.
The Automotive Carbon Thermoplastic market is moderately competitive with presence of local as well as global companies. Some of the key players which are contributing to the growth of the market include Covestro AG, DuPont, BASF SE, DSM, Rhodia, SABIC, LANXESS, Teijin Ltd, Celanese Corporation, Toray Industries among others. The major players are adopting several growth strategies such as product launches, acquisitions, and collaborations, which are contributing to the growth of the automotive carbon thermoplastic market globally.
Overview: Covestro AG is a German company that produces a variety of polyurethane and polycarbonate-based raw materials. The company is headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany.
Product Portfolio: Covestro AG offers Apec®, a heat-resistant thermoplastic, is ideal for applications in the automotive. The material can comfortably withstand high temperatures up to 150°C according to UL 746B and short-term exposure up to 200 °C.
The global Automotive Carbon Thermoplastic market report would provide an access to an approx. 53 market data tables, 48 figures and 220 pages.
Get your free sample proposal with a single click!