Reinforced plastics, also known as polymer matrix composites or composite plastics or composites, refer to a specific plastic composition featuring embedded fibrous reinforcements, which render superior strength properties than those of the base resin. The industry encompasses a large number of small companies, featuring unique skills and wide market orientations.
The global reinforced plastics market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 4.5% till 2010 and will surpass 9 mln tons by 2010.
Driven by its superior performance characteristics and design technologies, when compared to other traditional metal counterparts, reinforced plastics have found widespread utilization across various end-use applications. Emergence of new end-use markets such as wind energy sports, and medical sector are expected to open up new opportunities for the market. Technological advancements, and the resultant development of innovative products are critical for reinforced plastics market. USA and Europe emerged as the leading regional reinforced plastics market, collectively capturing more than 60% share of the volume sales for 2006. With more than 27% share of the sales in 2006, Transportation represents the largest and the fastest growing end-use segment over the review period. The segment is projected to reach 2.6 million tons by the year 2010, at a CAGR of over 5.5%. Key players dominating the global reinforced plastics market include AZDEL, Composite Products, Foster Corporation, Haysite Reinforced Plastics, Hexcel Corporation, Owens Corning, Saint-Gobain, and The Dow Chemical Company.
The global reinforced plastics market is characterized by high degree of fragmentation, featuring numerous small players offering unique skills. Further, relatively lower entry barriers have encouraged the establishment of several new players. The study also evaluates the increasing demand for reinforced plastics from wind energy, infrastructure, and automobile industries. Reinforced plastics market for use in infrastructure applications is anticipated to surpass the US$1 billion mark by 2010, as against US$270 million in the year 2000. Issues such as stringent environmental regulations, and high labor and transportation costs are major challenges facing the industry. Heavy investment in research and development, high technological development, and state-of-the art manufacturing practices and superior quality products are the key characteristic features of North American and European markets. Europe, the largest reinforced plastics market, is projected to cross 3.4 million tons by the year 2010.
Natural and wood fiber plastic composites (WPC) are emerging as significant markets within the plastics industry. These composites are finding increasing applications in the automotive, infrastructure, consumer/industrial, and building products industries. Building products, infrastructure and transportation are the leading markets for WPC in North America, while automobiles industry is the core end-use market for WPCs in Europe. WPC market in North America is forecast to grow at 14% through 2010, while in Western Europe the growth rate is expected to be about 18% over the same period.
The report titled "Reinforced Plastics: A Global Strategic Business Report" provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, product overview, competition, product introductions/innovations, and recent industry activity. The study also analyzes market data and analytics in volume sales for regions such as United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World by end-use segments.