Reinforced Plastics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends And Forecast, 2013 - 2019
Reinforced plastics are a type of composite material which incorporates additional substances in the form of fillers that aim to improve the structural and physical properties of a base plastic material. These fillers are generally in the form of fibers and are made of materials such as glass, aramid, carbon, cellulosic derivatives, asbestos, and in some cases even metal fibers.
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The presence of these fillers helps to give the plastics better strength, resistance to wear and tear, resistance to impact and such other value additions in their physical characteristics, making them more durable and capable of being tailor-made for a wide range of applications. The most common polymers used as the matrix for these fillers are epoxy resin, vinyl compounds, formaldehyde resins, and many others. With today’s technology, various specialty and functional polymers are also being combined with fillers to produce a wider range of reinforced plastics.
Some of the major types of reinforced plastics are carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), glass/glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP/GFRP), wood or cellulosic plastic composites (WPC) and others. By application, the end use industries can be classified into building and construction, energy, transportation, aviation and aerospace, electronics and electrical, marine, and consumer products.
Some of the drivers in the reinforced plastics market are the increasing demand in the automotive and transportation industries for replacement of metal parts, growing applications in aviation and aerospace industries as structural necessities, and a renewed interest in the generation of energy from renewable resources. Moreover, the low cost of production, the lightweight characteristics, combined with better physical properties compared to metals, and the ever-rising demand in the developing economies of Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe are the major factors resulting in growing sales and revenues in the reinforced plastics market.
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Some of the factors holding back this market are volatility in prices of raw materials, time-consuming manufacturing processes that are still prevalent, regulations governing the handling and transport of raw materials, most of which are classified as health and environment hazards, and other such reasons.
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