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Superplanes: A Rapidly Growing Market for Carbon Fibre
published in Issue 65, 2nd quarter 2006
In 1980 the global consumption of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based carbon fibres was 2,000 tons. By 2005 it had grown to approximately 22,500 tons.
The new superplanes from Airbus and Boeing—expected to change the face of global air traffic—have been designed to incorporate more carbon fibre composite materials than ever before. Given that the number of passenger aircraft in service is forecast to double between 2004 and 2023, it is expected that the global demand for carbon fibres will increase by over 81% between 2005 and 2010—from 20,820 tons to 37,720 tons.
Increased demand is also coming from manufacturers of industrial performance materials—including pressure vessels, wind generator blades and automotive parts.
The global demand for carbon fibre has outreached supply. As a result, manufacturers of sporting goods made from carbon fibre—including, but not limited to, fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf club shafts, skis and surfboards—are feeling the effects of a shortage of supply. In response, manufacturers are expanding capacity rapidly across the world.
Technical Textile Markets provides intelligence, analysis and insight on the global man-made fibre, nonwoven and technical textile industries.
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