Changing Mindset toward COVID-19 Accelerating Market Growth

Efforts are being made to locally and globally collaborate in order to address industry issues during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Companies in the medical composites market are expecting flattening of the curve with the emergence of various treatment options and vaccines. As such, the reopening of factories and full capacity production activities are estimated to replenish economic growth in the medical composites market. The trend of virtual events and webinars is also growing at a rapid pace.

The mindset pertaining to COVID-19 is gradually changing. This is encouraging onsite visits to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. As such, manufacturers are trying to maintain robust supply chains, since healthcare falls under the list of essential industries worldwide. However, supply chain disruptions are anticipated to cause a slowdown in business activities. Hence, manufacturers are focusing on mission critical applications to establish stable revenue streams during the pandemic.

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Biodegradability, Easy Manufacturability of Composite Biomaterials Gain Prominence in Cardiovascular Applications

Fiber reinforced polymer composites (FRPs) are finding several applications in the medical sector. However, manufacturers in the medical composites market need to understand the pros and cons of every material to meet the demanding needs of end users. For instance, composite biomaterials such as metal and polymer matrix composites are serving as better alternatives to stents made from stainless steel, titanium, and magnesium alloys, among others. Manufacturers should capitalize on such opportunities, as the high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases is triggering the demand for composite biomaterials.

The medical composites market is projected to advance at a robust CAGR of ~9% during the assessment period. Currently, North America dictates the highest share among all regions of the market in terms of output. Low cost, biodegradability, and easy manufacturability of composite biomaterials are grabbing the attention of healthcare companies.

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FRPs Deliver Flexibility in Manufacturing of Artificial Limbs

FRPs are gaining importance for their high strength, lightweight, and biocompatibility advantages. FRPs are being used to manufacture artificial limbs in order to provide fatigue resistance. The flexibility in manufacturing with the help of FRPs is being highly preferred by manufacturers in the medical composites market. This explains why the medical composites market is predicted to cross the value mark of US$ 500 Mn by the end of 2030. Chemical inertness of carbon fiber is helping manufacturers to establish stable revenue streams, as this material is gaining popularity in surgical applications.


Carbon fiber is replacing metallic and polymeric materials in surgical applications. Recent developments in carbon fiber involve its use in load carrying links in joint mechanisms of artificial limbs. Companies in the medical composites market are increasing their output capacities in carbon composites that are being implanted into cartilage to promote biological resurfacing of damaged areas.

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Carbon Composites Offer Strength to Materials Used in Medical Imaging

Carbon composites deploy an open weave structure to promote cell growth along and between individual fibers resulting in a suitable repair. Companies in the medical composites market are boosting their production of carbon fiber tows that can be used either individually or in plaits in order to repair damaged ligament. It has been found that the chemical properties of bone repair materials made from self-curing acrylic can be enhanced with the addition of carbon fibers. Carbon fibers are associated with high tensile, compressive, shear strength of materials. This is helping to commercialize carbon fibers in materials for wider clinical use.

The carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) is gaining increased visibility in the medical technology. Composites United— a specialist in high-performance fiber composite technology is expanding its business in X-ray and other medical imaging applications.

CFRP Being Used in Spreaders and Components of Surgical Procedures

CFRP is being highly publicized for its X-ray transparency and rigidity, as x-rays are hardly absorbed by CFRP. Manufacturers in the medical composites market are boosting their production of carbon fiber composites, since they are suitable for components of CT systems and particle accelerators. The high transmissivity advantage of CFRP creates no effects that could impair imaging. The high temperature sterilization of CFRP is being preferred in medical imaging applications.

The corrosion-resistant, biocompatible, and physiologically harmless CFRP is being extensively used in medical imaging applications. Companies in the medical composites market are tapping into incremental opportunities via radiolucent, orthopedic, and low distortion insertion guides made from CFRP to position implants. High strength attributes of CFRP are suitable for spreaders used during surgical procedures and components for the external fixation of bone structures.

Plant-based NFRCs Overcome Limitations of Synthesized Materials

There is a growing awareness to reduce energy consumption and environmental impacts, which are fueling the demand for natural fiber reinforced composites (NFRCs). As compared to synthesized fiber, natural fiber offers several advantages in terms of weight, biodegradability, and low price. However, inherent features of NFRCs are presenting challenges for the development of NFRCs. Manufacturers in the medical composites market need to address drawbacks of NFRCs such as low thermal stability, limited mechanical properties, and incompatibility with hydrophobic matrices. Hence, manufacturers are increasing their focus in plant-based NFRCs to improve their performance via fiber modification, fiber hybridization, and additive manufacturing (3D printing).

The rising application of plant-based NFRCs is creating revenue opportunities for manufacturers in the medical composites market. Recycling of waste carbon fiber and glass fiber reinforced composites is a fast growing phenomenon in the healthcare industry. Manufacturers are gaining proficiency in cost efficient recycling of valuable glass and carbon fibers.

Rise in Use of Carbon Fibers to Develop Lightweight Patient Positioning Tables

Companies in the medical composites market are taking giant strides in sandwich composite panels made from carbon fiber to manufacture patient positioning tables. For instance, family-owned composites fabricator ACP composites is designing composite patient positioning tables for healthcare equipment company Broncus Medical Inc. Manufacturers in the medical composites market are entering into strategic partnerships to improve the performance of composite materials. They are increasing efforts to develop lightweight and durable composite patient positioning tables that are transparent to X-ray radiation. There is a demand for patient positioning tables that can be easily machined to accommodate a specific type of insert for the attachment of medical instruments and clamps.

Analysts’ Viewpoint

Trinity Technology Group’s latest innovation AIRADIGM™ is gaining popularity amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, since it is a three layer composite medical face mask media. Companies in the medical composites market are using FRPs to manufacture artificial limbs to offer better fatigue resistance. However, manufacturers are striving to innovate in materials and components used in X-ray and other imaging applications. Hence, manufacturers should increase their R&D capabilities in carbon fiber composites to gain a competitive edge over other manufacturers. The weight and volume advantage of carbon materials is emerging as a substitute to conventional materials, as it creates new possibilities in X-ray procedures.

Medical Composites Market: Overview

  • In terms of value, the medical composites market is expected to exceed US$ 500 Mn by 2030
  • A composite material is a combination of two or more materials with significantly different physical and chemical properties. There are various types of composite materials that can be obtained, both naturally and through particles. Composites are utilized in various applications in the medical sector. Medical composites are widely used to treat various disorders in humans; for instance, composite body implants. Furthermore, medical composites are employed in various medical equipment and systems to enhance the performance of diagnostic imaging systems and dental implants, due to the various advantages offered by medical composites.
  • Rise in demand for medical composites, owing to their significant usage in diagnostic imaging, surgical instruments, and composite body implants applications is anticipated to propel the global medical composites market during the forecast period
  • Diagnostic imaging is projected to be a highly lucrative application segment of the global medical composites market in the near future

Medical Composites Market: Key Drivers and Restraints

  • Composite materials have diverse medical uses such as in surgeries, implants, artificial limbs, instrument materials, and diagnostics. A rapidly growing use of advanced composites in medical composites is in patient imaging tables and accessories used in X-ray, MRI, PET, and CT imaging systems. They are extensively utilized, as advanced composites possess radiolucency and absorb low levels of radiant energy. This characteristic helps minimize signal interference to enable the capture of clear images for use in medical diagnostics. This is driving the use of medical composites in diagnostic imaging.
  • Use of the x-ray technology has increased over the past few years, owing to the adoption of enhanced equipment that require lower levels of radiation. These innovations have fueled the need for a new breed of materials to further improve device performance and refine treatment. This, in turn, is driving the demand for medical composites in diagnostic imaging applications.
  • Demand for lightweight medical appliances and use of composite materials in repairing biological tissues in order to restore their mechanical functions are key factors driving the medical composites market. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), such as carbon fiber and glass fiber, is being extensively used to design various medical appliances due to its low weight and high stiffness.
  • The market is also witnessing certain restraints such as intense competition among existing medical composites manufacturers and frequent changes in consumer preferences

Medical Composites Market: Major Fiber Types

  • Based on fiber type, the global medical composites market has been segmented into carbon fiber composites, glass fiber composites, and others
  • Carbon fiber composites was a high-value fiber type segment of the global medical composites market in 2019. The glass fiber segment has also been expanding at a significant pace over the past few years. The glass fiber segment is estimated to expand substantially during the forecast period.

Medical Composites Market: Prominent Applications

  • In terms of application, the global medical composites market has been divided into diagnostic imaging, surgical instruments, composite body implants, dental, tissue engineering, and others
  • The diagnostic imaging application segment is projected to dominate the global medical composites market during the forecast period. Medical composite materials are widely used in diagnostic imaging systems and equipment such as X-ray and MRI. The composite body implants segment of the global medical composites market is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific to be Highly Lucrative Region of Medical Composites Market

  • North America accounts for a prominent share of the global market due to strong demand for components that are used in diagnostic imaging, composite implants, and prostatic. The market in North America is projected to expand significantly, owing to high utilization of composite materials in bio-medical applications in the region. Other regions such as Europe and Asia Pacific also account for a notable share of the global market. Their share is anticipated to increase significantly over the next few years.

Medical Composites Market: Competition Landscape

  • Key manufacturers operating in the global medical composites market include
    • 3M
    • Toray Advanced Composites
    • DSM
    • Polygon Company
    • PolyOne
    • Composiflex
    • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
    • Icotec Ag
    • Plastic Reinforcement Fabrics Ltd
    • Jiangsu Aosheng Composite Materials Hi-Tech Co., Ltd.
    • Shanghai Cedar Composites Technology Co. Ltd.