The global composites sector is expected to grow from $114Bn in 2022 to $170Bn in 2027, an annual growth rate of around 8%. This technology sector delivers solutions into everyday items and the highest performance sport. Main consumers of composites include energy, defence, aerospace, automotive, transportation.
We are also seeing composite applications across industry sectors including space, renewable energy, personal protection equipment, and many others requiring low weight high performance solutions. ‘A’ and ‘B’ surfaces can be generated, providing designers with a technology delivery a high-quality surface finish, often without post-process finishing.
The manufacture of composites is a capital-intensive process requiring significant investment at start-up. The cost of material and processing are high relative to metals and polymers. This is balanced by the strength, rigidity, and lightweight properties of thin composite sections.
In the composites market the dominant material is glass fibre but there is significant growth in use of carbon fibre applications. Recent material and processing technology development has enabled Additive Manufacture (otherwise known as 3D Printing) machines to use composite materials, further stimulating market growth.
Recycling of composite material is often very difficult or impossible due to the complex microstructure of the material mix. This is a major challenge for the sector moving forwards.