With an annual growth rate of more than three times that of the United States’ GDP, long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) are moving from an emerging market to a maturing sector with plenty of growth potential, according to a new study by Townsend Polymer Services & Information (Houston, Texas). The projected LFT global growth rate is 12 percent annually for 2006-2011. By 2011, at today’s average LFT selling prices, more than $400 million (USD) in new revenue will be created in the global market.
The use of LFT materials, initially driven by the European market, has now spread to all regions of the world, says the report. China represents particularly large growth potential; in 2006, China accounted for only 5 percent of total worldwide LFT consumption, ranking fourth behind Europe, North America and Japan. By 2011, China is expected to surpass Japan, which currently consumes 11 percent of the world’s LFT.
LFT growth, says the report, is mostly driven by automotive producers looking to reduce vehicle weight and fuel consumption. Globally, five application areas — front end modules, instrument panels, door modules and underbody shields in automotive and general/industrial goods in other sectors — will account for nearly half of the LFT volume increase in the next five years, according to the study.
The report is available for $21,000 (USD). Contact Townsend, Tel.: (281) 873-8733; Web site: www.townsendpolymer.com.