Suppliers of carbon fibre and composites to the automotive industry are poised to benefit from a similar boom to that enjoyed by the suppliers of glass fibre and glass-based materials to the wind energy sector 15 years ago, according to Sanjay Mazumdar, chief executive officer of consultant Lucintel.
“All of the major car builders are partnering with the carbon companies,” he said at the Composites Engineering Show held in Birmingham, UK, in November.
“BMW is with SGL, GM with Toho Tenax, Daimler with Toray, Ford with DowAksa and Jaguar with Cytec. The reason is simple – for security of supply. They are not partnering with the steel and aluminium companies or the glass companies, and it shows their seriousness in driving this market forward.”
However, while steel has been losing its share of the automotive market, amounting to around 37.5% of the materials going into cars in 2014 from 46.8% 20 years ago, glass composites comprise just 1% of the market and carbon composites 0.07%.
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