Lightweight and High Strength Materials Fuel the Growth of the Closed Molding Composites Market

North America is projected to be the fastest-growing region for the closed molding composites market, in terms of value, during the forecast period. Large wind installations and increase in use of closed molding composites in transportation and wind energy applications in Asia-pacific are propelling the growth of the closed molding composites market. Presence of major carbon fiber manufacturers in Japan and growing use of composites in China contribute significantly to the market growth in the region.

In 2015, China dominated the closed molding composites market in Asia-pacific, accounting for 64.9% of the overall market share in the region. The market for electrical & electronics and wind energy, two of the key users of glass closed molding composites, manufactured through the RTM, compression, and injection molding processes, is also growing significantly in Asia-Pacific. Rapid urbanization in China is driving the construction and electrical & electronics industries in the region, which are the key end-use applications of closed molding composites.

The use of carbon fiber is projected to grow due to its lightweight and higher strength. Carbon fiber composites provide the highest strength and rigidity of all the reinforcement fibers. High temperature performance is one of the major advantages of carbon fiber composites, making them suitable for aerospace & defense applications. The parts made from carbon fiber are much stronger than traditional materials such as steel, aluminum, and iron. Carbon fiber has various unique properties such as electrical conductivity, high tensile strength, lightweight, high temperature tolerance, and high chemical resistance.

Vacuum infusion & bagging is the most preferred process in manufacturing closed molding composites, as it is more environment–friendly than other closed molding processes. This process minimizes styrene emissions, as it involves resin curing in a closed environment. It also provides an excellent glass-to-resin ratio with minimal to no voids in the finished laminate. The growing aerospace & defense industry in North America is increasing the demand for vacuum infusion & bagging market in the region. Injection molding is also one of important closed molding processes, which is widely used in transportation and electrical & electronics applications for production of bumpers for vehicles, panels for electrical equipment, enclosures for medical devices, appliance housings, motor housings, and others.

Aerospace & defense is projected to be the fastest-growing application in the closed molding composites market during the forecast period. Aerospace & defense applications require composite parts of lighter weight and high strength. The use of closed molding composites lowers the weight of aircraft, which helps improve fuel efficiency of airplanes. These composites are corrosion-resistant and are not subject to fatigue damage, thus being increasingly used in aircraft components.

The key players in the closed molding composites market have adopted agreements & partnerships and new product launches in the past five years. The major companies operating in this market are A. Schulman (U.S.), Continental Structural Plastics Inc. (U.S.), Core Molding Technologies (U.S.), Strongwell Corp. (U.S.), Royal TenCate N.V. (Netherlands), Menzolit GmbH (Germany), GKN Aerospace (U.K.), Excel Composites Inc. (Finland), and others.

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