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[Market] Application of carbon fiber in the international market

time:2018-09-03 Face Book:

Carbon fiber is seldom used directly. Most of them are made into intermediates or composites by deep processing. Carbon fiber composites as structural or functional components have been widely used in aerospace, industrial and sports & leisure products.

According to new materials online data, from the international market, global carbon fiber demand in 2014 is about 54,000 tons, 2015 reached 74,000 tons, 2016 83,000 tons. In the past eight years, the composite growth rate of carbon fiber demand has reached 8.9%, the average annual growth rate will exceed 10%, and the demand will exceed 130,000 tons by 2020.

In 2015, the main downstream applications of carbon fiber are 17.8 million tons/24% in aerospace, 1.11 tons/15% in automobiles, 16.3 million tons/22% in wind turbine blades, 0.89 million tons/12% in sports and leisure, totaling 54,000 tons, accounting for 73%. In the future, with the continuous development of carbon fiber composite molding technology, downstream applications continue to open up, especially in aviation, automotive, wind power blade strong growth and its driving role.

The performance of carbon fiber in various application markets is as follows:

1. Aerospace

Carbon fiber composites have been widely used in aerospace industry, not only because they can reduce the weight of aircraft, save energy and enhance cruise capability, but also because of their high strength, corrosion resistance and fatigue resistance.

The demand for carbon fiber in aerospace comes mainly from two aspects, one is the increasing proportion of carbon fiber composite applications, and the other is the new aircraft orders. The demand for carbon fiber in aerospace is expected to reach 27,000 tons by 2020.

In civil aviation, carbon fiber composites (CFRP) have been used in some secondary structures of aircraft for the first time since the 1970s, such as fairing, control dashboard and cabin door. In the past 30 years, the use of CFRP has gradually entered into the wing, fuselage and other major load-bearing structures.

In terms of military aviation, CFRP has been fully valued at home and abroad. At present, composite materials have been used in combat fuselage, main wing, vertical tail, flat tail and skin parts, played a significant role in weight reduction. According to the data of China Society for Materials Research, the front fuselage of the composite material can reduce mass by 31.5%, parts by 61.5% and fasteners by 61.3% compared with the metal structure. For example, the United States continues to increase the proportion of carbon fiber composites used in advanced fighters, from 2% in the F-15E to 19% in the F-18E to 24% in the F-22 of the fourth generation fighter.

In addition, in recent years, the rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including unmanned combat aircraft (UCAV), due to low cost, light structure, high maneuverability, large overload, high stealth, long-range technical characteristics, determine its urgent need for weight loss, composite material use is basically the highest proportion of all aircraft. In recent years, besides being widely used in military applications, UAVs have been used more and more widely in disaster patrol, environmental monitoring, geodetic aerial photography and meteorological observation. As these aircraft gradually form mass production, the use of composite materials on UAVs will continue to increase.

In the field of aerospace, carbon fiber composites not only meet the requirements of aerospace technology to reduce the mass of structural materials, but also meet the requirements of structural materials with high specific modulus and high specific strength, with the performance and function of the design, has been widely used. In addition, for every kilogram of weight loss of a spacecraft, a carrier rocket can be reduced by 500 kilograms. Therefore, advanced carbon fiber composites are widely used in the aerospace industry. Satellite structures in the United States and Europe are less than 10% of their total weight because of the wide use of high-performance composite materials.

2. Automotive

With the stricter emission standards and the widespread acceptance of low carbon living, energy saving and emission reduction has become an important research topic in the automobile industry. Carbon fiber can be used in the automotive field to achieve lightweight, safety, reliability and shorten the R & D cycle.

1) Lightweight. Carbon fiber applied to automobiles, the most obvious advantage to automobile manufacturing is lightweight, the most direct impact is energy saving, acceleration, braking performance improvement. Generally speaking, the vehicle weight decreases by 10%, the fuel consumption decreases by 6%-8%, the emission decreases by 5-6%, the acceleration of 0-100km/h increases by 8-10%, and the braking distance shortens by 2-7m.

2) Safety. Lightweight body can make the center of gravity of the whole vehicle move down, improve the vehicle handling stability, the operation of the vehicle will be more safe and stable. Carbon fiber composites have excellent energy absorption, six to seven times the impact energy absorption capacity of steel, three to four times the aluminum, which further ensures the safety of the car.

3) Reliability. Carbon fiber composites have higher fatigue strength. The fatigue strength of steel and aluminum is 30-50% of tensile strength, while carbon fiber composites can reach 70-80%. Therefore, the application of carbon fiber composites in automobiles can greatly improve the fatigue reliability of materials.

4) Reduce the R & D cycle. Carbon fiber composites are easier to be platform, modular and integrated than metals because they are more designable. In this way, the hybrid body structure of carbon fiber body and metal platform can be modular and integrated for the traditional automobile body structure, greatly reducing the types of parts, reducing the investment in tooling, shortening the development cycle.

3. Wind turbine blades

Data show that carbon fiber applications in wind energy in 2015 16,300 tons, is expected to reach 30, 000 tons by 2020, the annual composite growth rate of 8.1%.

Wind power generation is the fastest growing area of renewable energy in the world. Wind power blades are generally considered to be the most important growth market for high-performance carbon fibers. Especially, the blades needed for manufacturing super-large wind turbines (the blade length of 2.5MW wind turbines is 40m, the blade length of 5MW wind turbines is more than 60m) must be used lightly. Strong, rigid and rigid high-performance carbon fiber composites ensure structural strength while avoiding large deformation of blades under wind load or even impact on windmill props.

At present, the mainstream glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) blades lack good corrosion resistance and fatigue resistance, and are self-weight, which is not conducive to the large-scale wind turbine and offshore. From this point of view, the high-speed expansion of the large fan market will provide a broad growth space for the development of carbon fiber wind blades. According to the calculation, the key structure of wind turbine blade above 40 meters, such as beam cap and main beam, can reduce the weight of blade by 38% and the cost by 14% on the one hand; on the other hand, improve the fatigue resistance and output power of blade, it is easier to produce large diameter and adaptive wind turbine blade using carbon fiber as material. .

4. Sports & leisure 

Carbon fiber is mainly used in golf clubs, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, fishing poles, bicycle racks, skis, rowing and other high-end leisure sports market. At the end of 2015, the global sports leisure market carbon fiber consumption is 0.89 million tons, accounting for about 12% of the total demand, is expected to reach 17,000 tons by 2020, to 2024 will exceed 19,000 tons, the annual composite growth rate of 2.3%. Overall, the industry is relatively stable, the market tends to be saturated, temporarily will not have pull carbon fiber industry regulations. The power of explosive growth.

5. Pressure vessel 

Comparing with the steel pressure vessel commonly used at present, the new CFRP pressure vessel is made of very thin metal or non-metal inner liner and high specific strength carbon fiber winding. The weight of the pressure cylinder can be reduced by 50% compared with the metal cylinder of the same volume. In terms of safety performance, the pressure cylinder made of multi-layer filament winding can ensure the safe operation of the cylinder even if the inner liner leaks, and has enough time for emergency treatment. In the manufacturing process, carbon fiber cylinder manufacturing process is simpler and cheaper than the complex process of steel container. Although the market for pressure vessels is not large at present, there is much room for growth.

Statement: Based on online public information, this article collated and analyzed the adaptation, for reference only. The main source of new materials online Meng Qingli's article is abbreviated.

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