According to Stratistics MRC, the “Global Long Fiber Thermoplastics Market” is accounted for $2.24 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $6.15 billion by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 11.9% during the forecast period. Some of the key factors propelling the market growth include rise in the demand for high-performance materials globally, increase in the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles, less generation of VOCs and recyclability, and increasing demand for long-fiber thermoplastics in automotive production. However, high processing and manufacturing costs are restraining the market growth.
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Long fiber thermoplastics are bulk molding materials with high mechanical recital characteristics such as stiffness, strength and toughness which are combined into a single material thereby, forming a substitute to metals. These are constant fiber filaments flowing along the length of the pellet, with improved stiffness, strength and impact resistance. Moreover, these are of several types which are used in various engineering applications. These long fiber thermoplastics or thermo-softening plastics soften when heated and also becomes hard when it is cooled. They are used in semi-structural purposes in many applications. These long fiber thermoplastics are a combination of mechanical and thermal properties. The key properties of long fiber thermoplastics are weight reduction, system cost, heat resistance, stiffness, strength, durability, corrosion resistance, dimensional stability, heat resistance, thermal conductivity, and functional performance which results in extended product life.
Opportunity: Rise in the usage of polypropylene (PP) resins & awareness among people towards sports activities would provide ample opportunities for the market growth.
Rising awareness among people towards sports activities including cycling to uphold fitness may surge demand for long fiber thermoplastics market due to its usage in manufacturing of lightweight bicycles. Reinforced LFT is utilized in production of badminton racquets, chess boards and golf shafts because of its rigid and durable nature. Moreover, there has been a considerable rise in the usage of polypropylene (PP) resins in thte automotive, electrical and electronics industries, enabling it to register a high growth rate based on resin type. Polypropylene resins so popular is their features of elasticity, transmissivity, fatigue resistance, insulation, high chemical resistance, and toughness. Additionally, PP resins have high resistance to electricity and are used along with glass or carbon fibers to manufacture electronic components.
Driver: High demand for long fiber thermoplastics from the automotive industry will drive the market growth
Increasing demand for long fiber thermoplastics from the automotive industry is identified as a key driver contributing to the enlargement of the global long fiber thermoplastics market. Long fiber thermoplastics (LFTs) are widely used as replacements for conservative materials such as metal assemblies, die castings, and underperforming plastics in the automotive industry. They are lightweight and improve the performance, dimensional stability, and potency of the automobile. They also improve resistance to corrosion and offer flexibility in designs. Long fiber thermoplastics lessen the overall weight of an automobile and improve the fuel efficiency to meet the quality standards set by regulatory bodies. The abridged vehicle weight aids in saving energy by plummeting brake and tire wear and emissions. LFTs are lightweight, environment-friendly alternatives to heavy metals and assist in lowering the total material costs. The growing number of automobiles and the subsequent rise in the use of LFTs in the automotive industry will drive growth in the market.
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Depending on the fiber type, glass fiber segment is anticipated to grow at the significant rate during the forecast period, due to its increased demand in the automotive end-use industry. It is the most chosen and cost-effective reinforcement used for long fiber thermoplastics. Long glass fiber thermoplastic composites are contrived through incessant filaments of fiber, which are melt-impregnated with thermoplastic polymer by the pultrusion process to create a high-performance bond. These are then cut into 1/2-inch (12 mm) composite pellets for expedient processing into net shapes via injection molding or extrusion processes. Glass fiber is generally used as a reinforcing element in commercial and industrial composites. additionally, these products are widely used in building & construction, automotive manufacturing, aerospace industry and electrical industry which may foster market growth.
By geography, Europe is expected to have considerable market growth during the forecast period, due to the growing economies of the Germany, UK, the presence of prominent players, and expanding automotive industry. In Europe, Germany is projected to grow at the significant rate during the forecast period. It is the largest market for LFT in Europe. The financial growth of the country is the main reason for the high utilization of long fiber thermoplastics. The automotive and other industries are speedily expanding, thereby driving the demand for long fiber thermoplastics in the region. Automobile industry in European region has evolved very rapidly as it houses many big automobile manufacturing companies which has its sales globally. Long fiber thermoplastics (LFT) market size may witness significant gains as carbon reinforced thermoplastics are employed in manufacturing of automobiles to lessen kerb weight of vehicles which will suggestively make vehicles fuel efficient. These factors are likely to boost regional demand.
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Some of the key players in long fiber thermoplastics market include Asahi Kasei Corporation, SGL Carbon, BASF SE, Solvay, Celanese Corporation, TechnoCompound GmbH (Polymer Group), Daicel corporation, SABIC, GS Caltex Corporation, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd, LANXESS, RTP Company, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd (SBHPP), PolyOne Corporation, TORAY INDUSTRIES INC., Polyram Plastic Industries LTD, Xiamen LFT Composite Plastic Co. Ltd, Quadrant Group, and Plasticomp.
Celanese Corporation: In Jan 2020, Celanese Corporation has signed an agreement with Nouryon to acquire Nouryon’s redispersible polymer powders business offered under the Elotex® brand (Elotex business). As part of the acquisition, Celanese will acquire all of Nouryon’s global production facilities for redispersible polymer powders across Europe and Asia, all products under the Elotex portfolio, as well as all customer agreements, technology and commercial facilities globally. With this acquisition, Celanese will extend its global leadership position in the VAE emulsions space and continue to support the customers in construction and building materials, where Celanese is already focusing significant product, solution and customer development efforts.
Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd: In Aug, 2019, Sumitomo Chemical has acquired Emas Plastik A.S. and its affiliated companies ("the Emas Group"), a major plastic compounder group in Turkey through Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe Ltd., to further advance the global development of its polypropylene (PP) compound business. Sumitomo Chemical has made the Emas Group its consolidated subsidiaries. PP compounds are high-performance materials made by kneading fillers like synthetic rubber, glass fibers, or inorganic fillers into PP to improve such parameters as impact resistance or stiffness according to target applications, such as automobile bumpers, interior components, or casing for white goods appliances. Turkey is a major production base for exporting to Europe for many manufacturers of automobiles and white goods appliances. Their demand for PP compounds in Turkey is expected to continue to grow solidly in the years to come.
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