Inorganic Fiber: Introduction
- Inorganic fibers are made from inorganic materials and are classified as: glass fiber, amorphous fiber such as rock wool; carbon fiber; polycrystal fiber such as alumina fiber; and monocrystal fiber such as wollastonite; and potassium titanate fiber
- Amorphous fiber possesses high strength even though modulus elasticity is low, as there is no grain boundary. Polycrystalline fiber provides superior heat resistance, as it consists of small crystals. Monocrystalline fiber possesses extremely high strength owing to its whisker-like fine fibers.
Types of Inorganic Fiber Market
- In terms of type, the global inorganic fiber market can be segmented into glass fiber, amorphous fiber, polycrystal fiber, and monocrystal fiber. The glass fiber segment is likely to account for a prominent share of the inorganic fiber market. Rise in demand for glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP) from various industries is expected to fuel the segment.
- Glass fibers primarily utilized for papermaking are the chopped strands with a fiber diameter of 6–20 µm and a fiber length of 3–25 mm, possessing superior heat resistance and dimension stability. The sheets containing glass fiber are utilized for floor, insulation, and building materials due to their characteristics.
- The two major types of carbon fibers are: PAN (polyacrylonitrile)-based type and pitch (petroleum oil and coal)-based type. The fibers are characterized by superior mechanical strength, modulus of elasticity, heat-resistance, and chemical-resistance. Their electric resistance and heat conductivity are similar to those of metals. Therefore, carbon fibers are applied to electromagnetic shields, electrodes, and heat-resistant structures owing to their low thermal expansion coefficient.
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Driver of Inorganic Fiber
- Composite materials made from glass fibers are preferred for use in tooling, electronics, and household appliances owing to their high wear-resistance, chemical-resistance, strength, and stiffness
- Carbon fiber is employed to produce composites for 3D printing material, which is used in aerospace, healthcare, and automobile industries to impart strength and stiffness in prototypes, rigid tools, and production parts
- Increase in use of inorganic fibers, such as glass fiber and carbon fiber, to manufacture composites for 3D printing filaments is a key factor driving the market
COVID-19 Impact on Global Inorganic Fiber Market
- The global coronavirus outbreak is posing severe challenges to the global inorganic fiber market. The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain network, in China, as there was limited/no production in organizations due to the lockdown. Some companies have limited access to their workforce. This impacted the overall production of factories.
Asia Pacific to Hold Major Share of Global Inorganic Fiber Market
- In terms of region, the global inorganic fiber market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America is projected to account for a notable share of the inorganic fiber market during the forecast period. Rise in demand for inorganic fibers from end-user industries, such as aerospace, construction, and automobile industries, is a significant factor fueling the market in North America.
- Europe is another major region of the global inorganic fiber market. Rise in the demand for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) is boosting the inorganic fiber market in Europe.