According to the new market research report “Recycled Carbon Fiber Market by Type (Chopped Recycled Carbon Fiber, Milled Recycled Carbon Fiber), Source (Aerospace Scrap, Automotive Scrap), End-use Industry and Region (North America, Europe, APAC, MEA and Latin America) – Global Forecast to 2026″, size is projected to grow from USD 126 million in 2021 to USD 222 million by 2026, at a CAGR of 12.0% during the forecast period. The recycled carbon fiber market is growing due to the rise in the demand for cost-effective and high-performance materials, and stringent government regulations globally.
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Chopped recycled carbon fiber accounts for a significant market share in terms of value and volume.
Chopped recycled carbon fiber is suitable for various industrial mixing and compounding processes including injection molding. It possesses low density, low thermal expansion, good electrical conductivity, excellent free-flowing behavior, and is non-corrosive. It can be used in low- and high-temperature applications and for the manufacture of electrically conductive materials. Chopped recycled carbon fiber is easily processed during compounding, thereby improving process and product performance. It has a length of 3-100 millimeters and is utilized in the automotive & transportation, aerospace & defense, and wind energy end-use industries. As the demand for lightweight materials is increasing and automakers are undertaking efforts to provide consumers with appealing, fuel-efficient vehicles that meet regulatory requirements, the use of chopped recycled carbon fiber in the automotive industry is also increasing. Manufacturers aim to develop low-cost chopped recycled carbon fiber for the automotive industry to manufacture lightweight and fuel-efficient vehicles. This is expected to fulfil the demand from OEMs for materials that comply with government regulations. This has propelled the demand for chopped recycled carbon in the automotive & transportation industry.
Aerospace scrap accounts for a major share in the recycled carbon fiber market in terms of value and volume.
Aerospace scrap-based recycled carbon fiber is widely used in the automotive & transportation, aerospace & defense, marine, consumer goods, industrial, sporting goods, wind energy, and other end-use industries. CFRP composites are widely used in aerospace components. Hence, the large source for obtaining recycled carbon fibers is aerospace scrap.
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Recycled carbon fiber is the carbon fiber obtained from manufacturing waste and end-of-life composite components. It is also known as reclaimed carbon fiber, recovered carbon fiber, or upcycled carbon fiber. Pyrolysis and solvolysis manufacturing techniques are used to recover carbon fiber from scrap. This fiber is compatible with both, thermoplastic and thermoset resins. It can be mixed with virgin fiber to form composite structures. Automotive & transportation is among the most prominent end-use industries for obtaining carbon fibers for reuse. Automotive OEMs have taken initiatives to recycle high-grade carbon fiber-based components used in manufacturing automotive components. Lack of technical knowledge and composite availability, interrupted supply chain, and reduced demand from end-use industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic are the major factors inhibiting the market growth. However, the demand for recycled carbon fiber would show recovery with the recovery in demand from end-use industries. The global recycled carbon fiber market size is expected to grow from USD 126 million in 2021 to USD 222 million by 2026, projecting a CAGR of 12.0% during the forecast period between 2021 and 2026.
Companies operating in the recycled carbon fiber market have strengthened their position by adopting expansions, partnerships, agreements, new product/technology launches, joint ventures, contracts, and mergers & acquisitions from 2015-2020. For instance, ELG Carbon Fibre collaborated with Railway Research and developed the world’s first carbon fiber bogie (CAFIBO), in December 2019.
Toray Industries Inc. (Japan), ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd. (UK), SGL Carbon (Germany), Karborek Recycling Carbon Fibers (Italy), Carbon Conversions Inc. (US), Carbon Fiber Recycling, Inc. (US), Shocker Composites LLC. (US), Procotex Corporation SA (Belgium), Alpha Recyclage Composites (France), Carbon Fiber Remanufacturing (US), and Vartega Inc. (US) are some of the key players in the recycled carbon fiber market.
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Toray Industries is a worldwide manufacturing, processing, and sales multinational corporation company specializing in industrial products which have applications in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry. The company is one of the prominent producers of carbon fiber in the world and offers carbon fibers, carbon prepregs, carbon fabrics, and molded products. It has manufacturing and research facilities in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Toray Industries operates through six business segments, namely, fibers & textiles, performance chemicals, environment & engineering, carbon fiber composite materials, life sciences, and others. The company operates its carbon fiber and CFRP businesses through its carbon fiber composite materials business segment.
SGL Carbon is one of the leading manufacturers of carbon-based products and materials which are utilized in the aerospace, defense, automobile, solar power, and wind energy industries. The company manages its business through the graphite materials & systems and composites, fiber & materials, and corporate units. The company manages its carbon fiber and CFRP businesses through its carbon fiber and composite materials, and aerostructure business units under the composites-fibers & materials segment. It has 31 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia, and operates in more than 100 countries.
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