Statistics and facts about the composite materials industry

Published by M. Garside, May 2, 2019
Composite materials, also known simply as composites, are materials made from two or more very different materials that produce a new material with characteristics that differ greatly from their individual forms when combined. There are two main types of materials (referred to as constituent materials) that make up composites: they include matrix (the material that binds) and reinforcement materials. One or more of each of these types of materials are required to produced a composite material.

Composite materials are particularly useful and desirable in building, bridge, and structure construction and manufacturing due to their strength, reduced weight, and low-cost. The aircraft and aerospace industries also employ the use of composite materials to help with managing intense environments. The aerospace industry alone accounted for some 15,200 metric tons of carbon fiber demand in 2016. Other common examples of composite materials include composite wood, metal matrix composites, and reinforced concrete.

Demand for composites in the United States is expected to grow among various applications including transportation, marine, wind energy, aerospace, and construction. Automotive manufacturers are particularly keen to introduce composite materials in their production processes to help mitigate increasing weight caused by the introduction of new vehicle utilities. Accordingly, the U.S. market value of composites is forecasted to increase to 17.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2024.

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Composite materials industry

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Carbon fiber

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