Global Natural Fiber-reinforced Plastics Market: Overview
Natural fibers are highly popular among researchers due to their application in polymer composites, owing to their eco-friendly nature and sustainability. The increase in concerns related to environment, stringent environmental regulations, and unsustainable consumption of petroleum have led to use of naturally derived materials. In natural fiber-reinforced plastics, biodegradable material, which is fibrous in nature, is embedded in a matrix made of plastic. Plants such as cotton, jute, and bamboo can be used as fiber materials. Advantages of use of natural fibers as plastic reinforcement are attributable to their low density, renewability, biodegradability, non-toxicity, good insulation property, and machine wear. Natural fiber-containing composites are used in sectors such as transportation, (automobiles, railway coaches, and aerospace), military, and building & construction (ceiling paneling, partition boards) and in packaging and consumer products.
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Global Natural Fiber-reinforced Plastics Market: Drivers
Demand for natural fiber-reinforced plastics is high in the engineering sector. Different types of natural fiber-reinforced polymer composites have received wide acceptance in the automotive sector by automotive manufacturers such as BMW, Audi Group, Ford, and Mercedes. Wood fibers are used to enclose the rear side of the seat backrest. High demand for cotton fibers that can be used as soundproofing materials propels the natural fiber-reinforced plastics market. Apart from the automobile industry, demand for natural fiber-reinforced plastics is high in sectors such as building & construction, sports, and aerospace. Increase in the demand for products with biodegradability, availability, cost-effectiveness, and low density is propelling the demand for natural fiber-reinforced plastics. However, requirement for chemical modification of natural fibers for improving the interfacial adhesion between fibers and the polymer matrix is likely to restrain the market during the forecast period, as the additional cost makes the process more expensive.
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In terms of type of plastic used as matrix, the global natural fiber-reinforced plastics market can be segmented into thermoplastics and thermosets. Most commonly used thermoset polymers in natural fiber-reinforced composites are polyester, epoxies, and vinyl ester. Polypropylene composites have attracted greater attention over the last few years, due to their added advantage of recyclability. Other thermoplastics such as polyethylene and polystyrene have also been used. Based on type of fiber, the natural fiber-reinforced plastics market can be segmented into flax, cotton, jute, sisal, ramie, coir, and banana. In terms of end-use, the market has been categorized into automotive, building & construction, aerospace, and sports & leisure.
Global Natural Fiber-reinforced Plastics Market: Regional Outlook
The global natural fiber-reinforced plastics market witnessed robust growth in 2017 and the trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. North America is a key region for natural fiber-reinforced plastics market, owing to presence of highly attractive aerospace and defense industries in the region. Germany, the U.K., and France are some of the major importers of natural fiber-reinforced plastics in the Europe region, due to presence of a highly attractive automotive industry in these countries. Rise in population, increase in urbanization, and changes in lifestyle are anticipated to boost the natural fiber-reinforced plastics market in the Asia Pacific region during the forecast period. Natural fiber-reinforced plastics witness high demand from countries such as China, India, and Japan. The natural fiber-reinforced plastics market in Latin America and Africa is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period, owing to overall technological advancements in the region.
Global Natural Fiber-reinforced Plastics Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global natural fiber-reinforced plastics market include AMORIM, Tecnaro, Advanced Compounding, and UPM etc.
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