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Specialty Fibers: Technologies and Global Markets

Specialty Fibers: Technologies and Global Markets

  • August 2014
  • 178 pages
  • ID: 96559


Table of Contents

This BCC Research report covers the underlying economic issues driving the specialty fiber and materials business as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. It also provides realistic market data and forecasts for specialty fibers for the period 2014 through 2019.

Use this report to:
- Receive a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the North American market for carbon, aramid, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, polybenzimidazole, and other specialty fibers used in aircraft and aerospace, sporting goods, automotive, and other industrial products.
- Receive information on the regulatory, economic, and technological environment.
- Identify the new directions of technology by analysis of patent trends.
- Receive comprehensive company profiles of major players in the industry.

- The global market for specialty fibers reached 578.5 million pounds in 2014. This market is expected to grow to nearly 841.7 million pounds in 2019, a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 7.8%.
- The aviation/aerospace market reached 64.3 million pounds in 2014. This market is expected to grow to nearly 89.6 million pounds in 2019, a CAGR of 6.9%.
- The automotive market reached 53.4 million pounds in 2014. This market is expected to grow to nearly 71.7 million pounds in 2019, a CAGR of 6.1%.


The goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the North American market for carbon, aramid, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile,
polybenzimidazole, and other specialty fibers used in aircraft and aerospace, sporting goods, automotive, and other industrial products. As well, we will examine the potential business opportunities for these fibers in the market. The report’s objectives include thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the specialty fiber and materials business as well as assessments of new and potential products that companies are developing. Social, political and regulatory issues are also covered, as
are international markets. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for specialty fibers.

This technology/marketing report starts with an overview of specialty fiber types including a history of fiber development and the overall composites marketplace. The report then moves on to cover processing technology trends and secondary processing and fabrication methods before proceeding to a detailed assessment of markets and product applications. This includes the market growth, materials, production, status of commercial development, barriers to entry and market leaders. A comprehensive analysis of the industry structure is provided and the report ends with profiles of the leading specialty fiber companies.

This report is an update of an earlier (2012) BCC Research report. A small yet strategic global market, specialty fibers are a critical and essential element in many advanced
technologies. The specialty fibers industry, however, has changed significantly since the last update of this report. The global economy continues its recovery from the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis, which adversely affected industrial and other end-use markets for specialty fibers, leading to diminished demand. At the same time, new entrants in China and expansions by existing producers have resulted in additional capacity. In turn, this has led to a more competitive market and pricing pressures. These drivers will continue. In the long term the market for specialty fibers will expand as a result of technological advancements and strength in several end-use markets. With the rapid changes in the industry structure and in the accelerated rise of new, expanding applications, a technology/marketing report with an updated unified view of materials and applications is needed.

In a multi-client format, this study provides the most complete accounting of specialty fiber developments currently available. It provides the most thorough and up-to-date
assessment on the subject that can be found anywhere. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in specific fibers. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kind of strategic response suppliers may adopt in order to compete in this market. Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers, commercial development directors and other decision-makers in specialty fiber companies. Technology suppliers, fabricators and assemblers, suppliers of competing and ancillary materials, suppliers of plastic resins, end-use product manufacturing companies and other companies peripheral to this business also represent a key audience.

The scope of this report is comprehensive, covering the present status of and future prospects for specialty fibers and products in North America. As defined in this report,
North America includes the U.S. and Canada. Basically, the scope of the report includes diverse segments such as sporting goods, light vehicles, aircraft/aerospace and various
industrial applications. Fibers covered include carbon, aramid, partially oxidized polyacrylonitrile, polybenzimidazole and other specialty fibers (metal matrix composite,
polyphenylene sulfide, boron, carbon-silicon carbide and other advanced fibers). These are analyzed in detail, as are technology developments, market conditions and
opportunities, and five-year forecasts. The role of new technologies is reviewed in this comprehensive report. This BCC Research study analyzes the current North American
market in detail and identifies the most promising market opportunities for the next five years. The markets in Western Europe, Japan, China and other global markets are
covered as well.

In order to generate the information necessary to construct a reasonable future market for specialty fibers, it is necessary to undertake an examination of the advantages and
disadvantages of the various types of materials and technologies. In addition to various fiber types, this examination also covers the many issues concerning the merits and
future prospects of the business, including corporate strategies, technologies and the means for providing these products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the
regulatory and economic issues that so many regard as critical to the industry’s current state of change. The report provides a review of the specialty fibers industry, its structure and the many companies involved in providing these materials and technologies. The competitive position of the main players in the market and the strategic options they face are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.

In this report, the term revenue is equivalent to, and is used interchangeably with the terms purchases, demand and sales. All growth rates mentioned both in the tables and
in the text are based on the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014 through 2019. In most cases, the actual quantity or volume (in pounds) is measured, and the
calculated growth rates are easy to comprehend. Because current dollar measures are used to measure revenues, these growth rates reflect the growth in volume or real
growth, including the effects of price changes and changes in product/service mix. The sum of the components in tables may not add to the total due to independent rounding. The research methodology was qualitative in nature and employed a triangulating approach, which aids validity. The research involved two stages, one involving
secondary research and the other primary research.

Initially, a patent search and analysis was conducted. This strategy identified companies and market applications and was the initiating force in research direction. Next, a comprehensive and exhaustive search of the literature on carbon, aramid and other specialty fibers was conducted. These secondary sources included automotive and related journals and related books, trade literature, marketing literature, other product/promotional literature, annual reports, security analyst reports and other publications. In a second phase, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with marketing executives, engineers, business unit managers, design engineers and other personnel at the specialty fiber companies. Other sources include academics, technology and materials suppliers, technical experts, trade association officials, government officials and consulting companies. These were a rich source of data. Subsequent analysis of the documents and interview notes was iterative.

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